4. Emad Azmy, ASGC Construction

As president of ASGC Construction, Emad Azmy is leading the company’s continued endeavours to expand and invest in its more than 11,000-strong workforce.

“The key initiative for 2018 is the launch of the ASGC Labour Training Academy,” Azmy tells Construction Week.

“The academy delivers training and knowledge upgrades for all of ASGC’s workforce. It hosts new joiners for job training; offers health, safety, and environment training; and delivers development training programmes that lead to career progression for workers and supervisors.”

Indeed, prioritising professional development is a strategy that appears to be delivering results for the firm. ASGC’s recent portfolio of projects, for which it was engaged as main contractor, includes an $81.7m (AED300m) contract for the Green Community Expansion Phase 1, and a deal worth $398m (AED1.5bn) for the Bluewaters Island project in Dubai. This is in addition to a $165.4m (AED608m) contract for Bloom Marina in Abu Dhabi; and contracts in Cairo, Egypt, worth $17.2m (AED63.1m) for the Mivida Park Residence and $26.7m (AED97.9m) for the Festival Living Apartments.

The company is also the main contractor for ongoing projects that include the Six Flags Dubai theme park, Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, Dubai Arena, the Dubai International Airport improvement works project, Mediclinic Park View Hospital, One Central H2B Hotel, and the Green Community expansion.

Moving forwards, Azmy says that ASGC will look to diversify into projects within the infrastructure space, and to expand its business in Africa.

While the UAE and Egypt remain two of the most important markets for the firm, geographies such as Angola, Kenya, and Ghana are also the focus in 2018.

“The challenge is to continue to distinguish ourselves as a leading contracting company specialised in the construction of large-scale and iconic projects,” says Azmy, adding that ASGC will “continue to be selective about the scale and nature of the projects that we pursue” as he leads his team into new markets across Africa.

Technology is also a key area of focus for the firm. The construction company has budgeted approximately $9m (AED33m) for capital and operational spend on information technology systems. This figure marks a $2.5m (AED9.2m) hike over the corresponding 2017 value.

Some of the technology programmes that ASGC will implement or expand upon this year will cover the use of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to boost labour productivity and safety; cloud-based technology to track, use, and maintain core equipment and assets; and enhanced customer relationship management systems, Azmy says.

He adds that in 2018, ASGC also plans to focus on end-to-end integrated cost control through building information modelling integration; cloud-based documentation management; and advanced e-procurement methods to digitise operations such as purchasing life cycle management, vendor selection, classification, and contracting.

ASGC was named Contractor of the Year at the Construction Week Awards 2017, held in Dubai last December.