Leaders of UN!Que Project Solutions on growth and the ambitions

05 April 2024 Consultancy-me.com 5 min. read
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UN!Que Project Solutions (UN!Q) – a new but established name in the business – has enjoyed a momentous period of development. We sat down with Sinimol Noushad (Chair), Steven Batchelor (Managing Director) and Damien Keane (Country Director) to discuss the firm’s record-breaking growth amid its 10-year anniversary celebrations, its rebranding, and what’s on the agenda for 2024 and ahead.

The journey of UN!Q, formerly known as Dezire Project Solutions, goes back to 2013, when founder and Chair Sinimol Noushad launched the business in Dubai with just three staff.

In the intervening decade, the project and cost management consulting firm has gone from strength to strength. Today, UN!Q has more than 90 staff in four offices across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India. “Our respected team are now delivering many iconic projects across the Middle East, Asia and now Europe,” said Noushad.

Sinimol Noushad, Steven Batchelor and Damien Keane - UN!Q

UN!Q offers a range of services to projects in the built environment, spanning traditional project and cost management, but also tenant coordination, construction management, employers agent, fund monitoring, procurement management, programme management, and contract management.

The firm works for investors, developers, design consultants and construction groups, with its portfolio of partners and collaborators including the likes of Emaar, Wasl, DAMAC, GEMS, Dubai Health Authority, AEDAS, FACE, MZ Architects, and China State.

Amid the huge economic transformations currently underway across the Middle East, the region’s construction industry is booming, particularly in the GCC. To meet further growth in demand, Noushad and the leadership team were well aware that the consultancy needs to prepare for its next phase.

“We celebrated a decade in business last year. It was a proud moment – but while this has been an extremely successful decade for the existing team laying strong foundations for the future, we knew we could not afford to stand still. The aspirations to exceed our growth over the next 10 years was going to create its own internal and external challenges, for which we had to plan.”

Understanding the hurdles which lay in wait, Noushad oversaw a hiring campaign to bring in several respected industry leaders, who could help spearhead the growth and team. Steven Batchelor arrived as Managing Director while Damien Keane joined as Country Director for the growing Saudi Arabia wing.

“I’m honoured to be charged with steering this fabulous team on their evolutionary journey to becoming a true best-in-class construction project solutions provider,” says Batchelor.

With the new leadership team in place, there also came a need to reposition the business with renewed optimism and a fresh identity. Late last year, Dezire Project Solutions rebranded as UN!Que Project Solutions.

According to its mission statement, UN!Q aims to be “a best-in-class construction project solutions provider”, which will add value to the local economy, as well as its clients, by “investing in innovation, education, and professional development”, and promoting “diversity, equality, inclusion, trust and integrity”.

Batchelor: “UN!Q wants to do things slightly differently. While not totally reinventing the wheel, we want more focus on partnering and collaborating and providing service solutions and added value, rather than the traditional client supplier relationship where we are only a limited commodity.”

“Our focus is on understanding our partners aspirations, their headaches, how to ensure increased return on investments, and solving these problems. Whether the solutions we provide can be project related, strategies, or organisational.”

Keane confirms that the rebranding has been much more intensive than a new lick of paint, or the use of a different type-face. Instead, it has seen the new leadership team spend the last months “collaborating with existing and new partners” and putting in place internal and external changes to help the firm live up to its new set of goals and values, while becoming a trusted consultant of choice to its partners.

House of talent

Perhaps most importantly, the strategic re-alignment has seen UN!Q  put into place clear career paths to help empower the new talent joining the firm across the Middle East and Asia.

“We want to be a real employer of choice for the brightest and best talent across the region, our management team has a real history of developing the best teams in the industry,” Batchelor notes. “We understand our people are driven by the need for empowerment, recognition, development and nurturing, so they can achieve their full potential, and our people understand the rewards come in return for their investment in themselves.”

“We also want our people to be the future leaders and embrace not just their core project or cost management skills, but be pioneers in sustainable areas of work in our ever-changing industry.”

Looking ahead, Noushad hopes this can help make UN!Q’s second decade as exceptional as its first. Stating that she hopes a “special relationship” will be born from both UN!Q’s ability to attract the best talent, and to nurture new professionals to equip them with skills that can see the region’s economies excel in the years ahead.

Keane concludes, “This also includes how we will work to tailor our teams to suit our partners goals and any limitations. We will not be taking a bums on seats approach, where we only care about how much revenue we can extract, without bringing added value. We want to help our people and our partners build for the long-term.”