AIROLINK, Stephen Evans - Regional Manager, Acquisition International

AIROLINK, Pioneers within the International Construction Industry

AIROLINK, created in 2001 to cater to the specialized needs of a booming construction industry in Ireland, is now one of the leading providers of top-quality construction and engineering services in the UAE. Recently, the firm found success in AI’s Global Excellence Awards 2019 in which they were recognised as the Best Turnkey Construction Services Provider 2019 – UAE. On the back of this win, we profile the firm and caught up with CEO and Chairman, Dr. Anil Pillai who provided us with a glimpse into the innerworkings of the award-winning company.

Founded in 2001, AIROLINK is part of a group of companies which was established in the Republic of Ireland, and has offices based in Dublin, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, UAE and Thiruvananthapuram, India.

As one of the leading civil contractors in the UAE, AIROLINK specializes in all kinds of residential, commercial, military and educational institutions offering a complete construction package from land acquisition, design, construction, through to completion (turn-key).

The expert team at AIROLINK offers every project they work on the benefits of quality, cost competitiveness, and the experience of a proven contractor. Throughout the firm’s history, they have met every contract cost, schedule and performance requirement for each contract they have been awarded, because of which they do a lot of projects with repeat clients. Going into further detail, Dr. Anil begins by providing us with the steps the team takes when working alongside a new client to ensure that they not only meet the requirements set by the clients, but also surpass their expectations and delivering a result which benefits both parties involved.

“Here at AIROLINK, we follow a very systematic approach for Project Management, which ensures success in attaining the desired outcome every time. Alongside this, we also spend lot of time in effectively planning the project from day one. Beginning at the conceptual planning stage, all the possibilities are taken into consideration and the technological and economic feasibility of each alternative is assessed and compared in order to select the best option which meets the needs of all stakeholders.”

“Next step, we examine various financial schemes for the project. At AIROLINK, we strongly believe in maintaining financial discipline. Every project is programmed with respect to its completion, timing and for project cash flows.”

“Once the project scope is clearly defined and understood, a detailed engineering design will serve as blueprint for construction, and a definitive cost estimate will serve as the baseline for cost control. Procurement and construction activities on site are undertaken with careful planning and with utmost control. Additionally, procurement activities are carried out in a very systematic manner to ensure smooth delivery of materials on site during execution. Post construction, there is a brief DLP period which takes care of any snags, after which the complete handing over of the project is undertaken.”

Enabling the firm to deliver such an exceptional and tailored service, is the dynamic, experienced and committed team which forms the backbone of AIROLINK. When discussing the internal culture, Dr. Anil is keen to reflect on the significant role the team play in the overall success of the firm, touching on how AIROLINK’s strength is its staff.

“With more than 18 nationalities under the same umbrella, we employ over 3000 happy faces. Our employees are encouraged to actively take part in the decision-making process in the company, frequent training is provided so they are updated and are able to address various gaps arising from demographic changes, technological and process advances, authority and regulatory requirements etc. In this industry, it is crucial to have the right people in the right jobs. Hence all efforts are made for ensuring the same through a strategic workforce planning and management.”

Whilst on the topic of the construction industry as a whole, Dr. Anil provides us with an overview of its current state, as well as pointing out predictions made by experts on developments they believe may occur in the years to come and explains the ways the team at AIROLINK would adapt around to such changes.

“Our employees are encouraged to actively take part in the decisionmaking process in the company, frequent training is provided so they are updated and are able to address various gaps arising from demographic changes, technological and process advances, authority and regulatory requirements etc.”

“The Engineering & Construction industry is known for its slow adoption and adaption to new technologies as compared to other global sectors, even though it accounts to more than 6% of global GDP. In developing countries such as India, this accounts to more than 8%. Moreover, E&C consumes around 50% of steel produced globally and three billion tonnes of other raw materials. Hence, it only makes sense that any improvement in productivity through adoption of modern engineering technologies will have a huge impact in the sector.

“AIROLINK is currently in a transformation stage of embracing world class and innovative technological opportunities, which we see as a path to a more productive, environmental and socially responsible future. This includes adopting advanced building and finishing materials, using modularized and prefabricated components, semiautomated equipment, use of sustainable products with optimum life- cycle value, industry collaborations etc.

“According to experts in the industry, multiple mega trends will shape the future of construction. For instance, 30% and growing of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to buildings. This, and issues like these, require adequate response from the industry as a whole. Improvements need to be made in the way the industry operates, so as to provide substantial benefits to society which we all are a part of.”

Looking ahead to what the future holds, AIROLINK has already completed over AED 5 billion of work and has another AED 5 billion more to be secured later this year. Bringing the interview to a close, Dr. Anil signs off by revealing the exciting plans which lie in the pipeline for the firm, as well as highlighting the aspirations he has for AIROLINK especially following their recent success in Acquisition Intl.’s Global Excellence Awards 2019 where they were righteously awarded the accolade Best Turnkey Construction Services Provider 2019 – UAE.

“Improvements need to be made in the way the industry operates, so as to provide substantial benefits to society which we all are a part of.”

“Moving forward, we currently have ongoing work in the hospitality, retail and education sectors, with more than 25,000 students actively engaged within school facilities built by AIROLINK. Many of these ongoing projects are with well-established clients and incorporate elaborate design into the structure or façade.” The company thrives on design challenges and is committed to exceeding the expectations of its clients.

“Very soon, I wish to see AIROLINK as one of the highest providers of top-notch construction services, while operating at the highest levels of Engineering Technology, quality and cost effectiveness. Accountability, sustainability, commitment, integrity and team work will continue to be our core value and will lead AIROLINK to be Pioneers in the construction industry.”


Company: AIROLINK Stephen Evans – Regional Manager
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