What's your job about?
As the General Manager of the Queensland office, I am responsible for the development and management of the Queensland business, and the projects we work on across the state.
A huge, and enjoyable, part of my role is to mentor staff and hire new staff, making sure they not only have the right experience but that they are the right cultural fit for our office. The day-to-day management of the business involves administration, budgets, preparation of invoicing, monitoring project profitability and managing project resourcing.
I have an active role working on and leading projects, and working with and advising, the team on projects when needed. I am a point of contact for our clients if they would like to speak directly to senior management.
To support our growth plans, I'm also heavily involved in business development, which consists in identifying and building relationships with potential clients and sectors we want to work in and represent TSA at industry functions and client events.
What's your background?
I was born in India and came to Australia when I was 9 years old. I love Brisbane and have lived here all my life.
I went to a state school till year 7 then went to a Christian Brothers School from year 8 to 12. I started uni with an Associate Diploma in Civil Engineering, then started a Bachelor of Engineering, but ended up bored with it so swapped to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Construction Management degree about halfway through.
When I was 28, and in the last year of my degree, I started my own project management business in Brisbane. It was a slow start, but I secured some interesting and complex projects that helped me develop and started winning some major projects in Brisbane and overseas.
In 2011, I decided to take on a General Manager role at a new company. The culture of the first company I moved to did not suit me, so I resigned a few years later. In 2014, I was approached by TSA for the role of General Manager of the Queensland business. I started in 2015 and have been developing a strong project management team and working on exciting projects since then.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
The job requires strong leadership skills but also a blend of good people and business management skills. My background in construction and project management helps to provide advice to staff in resolving project issues and in the management of projects. Being an excellent communicator is essential because of the broad cross-section of people you deal with on a day-to-day basis. While it is an important role, it's also vital to have fun and make everyone feel they are part of the TSA family. Employees like a leader that sets by example, so being able to tone the seriousness at times is also important.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The part of my job I enjoy the most I call the “thrill of the kill”. It’s a great feeling when you and the team win a major project. The excitement in the office is fantastic, and everyone celebrates the win. I also think it’s great when a new staff member joins TSA and gets introduced to the rest of the team. You can see their excitement in being part of TSA, and the cultural aspects hit home straight away.
What are the limitations of your job?
The job is difficult and time demanding, but that is what you would expect with the seniority the role. If you were unimaginative, very structured and mechanical in your thinking, then it's probably not the right kind of role for you. While the job has plenty of structure, it would limit someone who was very mechanical in their approach. Innovative approaches and problem-solving methods are often very successful in developing teams and culture.
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What makes TSA different to other companies?
I have found the TSA experience to be by far the best that I have experienced in my 30 years' in the construction industry. The team we have, the projects we undertake, the culture we have developed is second to none. You can't underestimate the importance of the culture of a business, and I'm proud to have heard new team members comment on how welcoming TSA has been when they join. While we work hard as a team, we also never forget the fun aspects, and we try to make sure this comes across in our day to day work life. Our leadership is visionary and focuses forward rather than always looking back – this is important in the growth and development of a company, and I believe what differentiates us from our competitors.