- Abrar Sheriff, President & CEO, Turner International LLC
Turner Group´s project management consultancy, Turner International, completes 50 years of its global presence. Turner´s focus hereafter is to expand and diversify, especially in India, with plans to work with the Indian Government on projects like smart cities. Abrar Sheriff, President & CEO, Turner International LLC, speaks to CW on Turner International´s work, projects and global solutions.
What are the major market segments covered by Turner Projects?
Turner Construction´s headquarters is in New York, and Turner International, which I oversee, manages all projects outside of the US and Canada. We have 46 offices within the US, where we operate primarily as general contractors. Internationally, we focus more on project management consulting where we work as advisors. We are the US largest healthcare builder, though we also focus on many market segments, including commercial developments, higher education, critical facilities, aviation, and high rises.
Please name a few of the iconic projects completed over these 50 years?
Turner International started in 1965 with the Meo Foo Sun Chuen development in Hong Kong. Since then, we have managed thousands of projects across 74 different countries. Some of our most notable projects include Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa, Emirates Towers, and the Emirates Palace Hotel. We also managed the tallest tower in Mexico, Torre BBVA Bancomer, the tallest tower in Vietnam, the Bitexco Financial Tower, and the entire Dubai International Financial City development in Dubai. We are currently managing what will eventually become the world´s third and fifth tallest towers in Malaysia, as well as the Musheireb Heart of Doha project in Qatar.
How has your presence been in India and how much does the country contribute to your overall business?
We have been active in India since 2008, but today our strategy is expanding to include not only private clients but also government projects like smart cities. My vision is to see India become a hub for our Asia operations. We have the proper support structure in place, and our next step is to get going. We are currently active in Delhi and Mumbai and plan to expand to Bengaluru and Hyderabad later this year. We are currently in our third year of being involved in the development of the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, which is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. India contributes roughly 10 to15 per cent to our overall portfolio, and it is likely to increase to 20 to 25 per cent in the next three to five years. A primary goal of mine is for us to secure one programme with the government in the next six to eight months.
What innovative solutions does Turner provide to the world of construction?
Thousands of our staff are trained in Building Information Modeling (BIM), and we also perform 3-Dimensional modelling, as well as PSEC scheduling. Our projects in the US have live television screens and field staff that walk with iPads to actively manage their trades in real time. Contractor questions are answered on the spot, and everyone is connected electronically to live project updates. The other thing we do is measure construction waste and the efficiency with which material is fabricated. Everything is measured twice, cut once, and then assembled - it all happens in real time.
What are the major challenges faced in India as compared to the world?
Within the construction industry in general, there is not enough emphasis on quality. I think laburers can be better trained before being deployed to a project, and we are actively working with the major general contractors to make a difference.
Turner´s core purpose is to Make a Difference in the Lives of Your People, Customer and Community. Please elaborate.
Throughout the world, our people are our greatest assets, from which we as a company and our clients derive the most value. Although we are a company of 6,000 plus, we create a meaningful workplace where staff are considered family, and as a result, our clients become our respected friends. We look for clients who share our core values of teamwork, integrity, and commitment, not just to our projects but within the communities in which we work. We get involved in communities and encourage our employees to find a cause important to them that we can support - not just through donation but also through participation.
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