Businesses will hopefully start getting better soon

Engr. Fahim Siddiqui, CEO, FND Consulting Engineers talks to Engineering Post

Engr. Fahim Siddiqui Chief Executive Officer, FND (Pvt.) Limited has been working in the engineering sector of Pakistan for more than 45 years now. After FND was founded in 1987 the company engineered the MEP Systems of some of the most prestigious landmark construction in the country including the Emporium Mall and Packages Mall in Lahore. The firm is registered with Pakistan Engineering Council, and the Principals of the firm are recognized members of a number of National and International Professional Societies & Bodies.

Engr. Fahim Siddiqui, during an exclusive interview with Engineering Post, expressed his views regarding the current situation amid COVID-19. “Right now uncertainty is the main problem. No one knows what the right course of action is and how and when the pandemic will pan out in the future. Still I can see that the situation is gradually moving towards betterment,” he said

During the conversation he also appreciated how the local industry has responded to this threat of COVID-19. He also appreciated the company responsible for conversion of Expo Center in Karachi to corona ward saying “The work of months was done very efficiently in days by the company”.

During the conversation he said that he is sensing a gradual decrease in the overall fear of the people regarding COVID-19, which can be a major factor in the near future for the resumption of business activities in the country. “But the fear must not diminish completely, and people should keep following basic hygiene, social distancing and other SOPs”.  Another thing he pointed out was the phenomenon of working from home. “COVID-19 has shown the world that working from home can be useful for many different sectors especially ones involved primarily in production of intellectual work on paper”

Sharing his thoughts on the future of HVACR industry in the post COVID-19 scenario, he shared some wonderful insights. He said that although the emphasis right now is on the installation of preventive tools including HEPA filters, UV lamps, bipolar ionization and other techniques, but I personally think that we can avoid all this if we ensure adherence to basic sanitization SOPs, hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing. In the end these might prove to be more effective than the use of high tech filters and other equipment in HVAC systems. “It is easy to say install HEPA filters but what we do not realize is that they require complicated installation and adjustments to ensure no air is leaking and these are also expensive to maintain. Similarly UV lamps and Bipolar ionization are known to kill bacteria and viruses, but the over-riding factor for reduction in transmission of virus is introduction of more fresh air and adherence to SOPs by the people” he added.

While replying to a question regarding the financial constraints being faced by businesses due to decreased business activities Engr. Fahim Siddiqui said that in these testing times it is simply wrong to transfer the pressure of financial constraint to the employees. The human factor of businesses demands that the employees be given their wages in full and on time. “At FND we made a policy decision not to lay off any employee due to COVID-19. I as CEO voluntarily decreased my salary by 25% and I remain the only employee whose salary was decreased.”  He revealed.

One important thing to be kept in mind is that when the markets reopen, businesses will start flourishing again and will hopefully be in a better position than they were in before. We just have to pass through this time patiently and empathetically keeping hopes high. “We must remember that business has not stopped, it has just slowed down. Thing will start getting better eventually and as soon as they do business will start booming again, especially in the construction industry, which will also impact positively on a large number of businesses that serve the construction industry” he said.