National Engineering Bureau – Making Success Feasible
We return to the National Engineering Bureau and find out how the company has been growing and developing since we last saw them.
The National Engineering Bureau’s history goes back to the establishment of the company in 1984 when it was established as a consulting engineering company. Since then the company has developed a range of specialist expertise in the architectural, structural and engineering fields, while the business’s network of offices has spread across the United Arab Emirates with licences in Saudi Arabia and beyond. The National Engineering Bureau has carried out projects in India, Kuwait, and Bahrain. When we last spoke with the company they were working hard to expand into other countries, carrying out a range of projects from residential to schools, to shopping malls that were feasible and affordable buildings.
The National Engineering Bureau has built a reputation on the foundation of its engineering. They understand the needs of their clients, and so are practised in creating profitable buildings that are pleasing to the eye, highly efficient and reasonable in cost. As Managing Director Jamil Jadallah Naji told us during our last interview, “Needs are changing, people need more affordable buildings, greener buildings, so we’re training people to keep up with that.”
Counting the Cost
The cornerstone of NEB’s approach is that a workable design needs to be economical and functional, and they are experts and balancing these different parameters to make a design which is not only good looking but constructible and feasible. NEB’s people look at their designs from the perspective of the client and end-users.
Speaking with Jadallah Naji today it’s clear the business’s goals and methods haven’t changed.
“We do all types of projects from residential to commercial offices, hospitals, hotels, apartments, malls, villas, and we do all of this in-house,” Jadallah Naji says.
While the National Engineering Bureau’s philosophy and approach haven’t changed, the world has, and the market is growing ever more competitive as purse strings are getting tighter.
“The competition in the market is high and this year that has increased by the coronavirus. So it is the equation of demand and supply, because with prices like this people’s jobs are affected,” Jadallah Naji tells us. “How can we pay? How can we compete in the market and convince people to go ahead with their projects?”
It’s the type of environment where the National Engineering Bureau’s dedication to pragmatic, realistic costing and design can put them ahead.
“We ask how much total investment is needed and how much income will come from it. Customers are always looking to maximise income, so we do the proper design with the minimum cost of the project,” Jadallah Naji explains. “The design will be done to reduce the cost of the project and also to see what we need to do to meet the demands of the end-users. We ask what they are looking to have from the project. We have to satisfy that need, whether it’s how the apartments should be sized, or if it’s a school we ask what facilities are needed to encourage parents to send their kids to these schools, or if it’s a hotel or hospital see how we can increase the occupancy of these projects with proper design and proper facilities. We give it all the advantages we can and see how much we can work hard to make the cost of these projects feasible, to keep the income of the client reasonable.”
Finding and Nurturing Talent
To maintain these standards, the National Engineering Bureau needs a team of people who understand that pragmatic perspective, something the company can only build through careful recruitment and training.
“We try to hunt for talented with the proper experience and who understand the requirements of the market and the people in it,” Jadallah Naji says. “These people are initiated into our design process. We try to find people who are talented but we also have to train the people through our own courses and seminars. We share our information, anyone who gets more information from the client will spread it to the rest of the team, we share all of our ideas.”
With the advent of the COVID crisis, the National Engineering Bureau is taking steps to ensure it protects that very team.
“We took all the necessary precautions. We arranged for workers to be spaced apart from each other and supplied PPE and medical support, check-up points,” Jadallah Naji says. “We also put people into rotas with some people working one week, others working another week and other people working from home. We kept everyone on track. People want to work, not stay at home. So, we found ways to look at who will work, who will stay at home and we are very proud work was not affected. People are back but we are keeping precautions in place.”
Looking to the Future
While the National Engineering Bureau is continuing to grow and prosper, even during these difficult times, it is clear talking to Jadallah Naji that he doesn’t believe this is a time to grow complacent.
“Looking to the future is always the challenge. Success today won’t count as success in one year or two years,” he tells us. “We want to move with the market and adopt new ideas, whether it’s in software or the design. With any new modification or innovation, all the software and new techniques, we train our people. We always keep an eye on what’s coming through in materials science, structure and chemicals. It’s all a knowledge upgrade to keep in mind for our latest project.”
The National Engineering Bureau is constantly growing, constantly learning, and keeping up to date with the latest developments in the field to offer the best and most cost-efficient designs. But their core values remain the same.
“We are always working to try to stay in the market, stay in a good position, concentrating on these things to deliver unique projects,” Jadallah Naji says.