Engr.Fahim Siddiqui, CEO, FND Consultants talks to Engineering Post
Fahim, Nanji & DeSouza (Pvt.) Limited is a firm of Consulting Engineers, specializing in Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) Building Services. The firm is based in Karachi and has to its credit projects all over the country. The company is planning the establishment of Lahore office for the year 2020.
The foundation of the company was laid in 1987 by the three partners Fahim Siddiqui, Ghulam Abbas Nanji and Roland DeSouza. After Mr. Nanji went abroad, the company reduced its area of expertise and became a purely “MEP Firm”.
With a track record of over 30 years, FND is recognized as one of the largest & foremost engineering consultants in the private sector building services field in Pakistan. 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.
Working all across Pakistan FND is responsible for designing some of the most iconic landmark buildings in Pakistan including National Art Gallery & National Monument in Islamabad, the Emporium and Packages Mall in Lahore, the Dolmen Mall, MCB Building in Karachi, the GIK University in KP.
Engr. Fahim Siddiqui while talking to Engineering Post revealed that in 2011 when the company was becoming private limited, 30% of the shares of the company were offered to the employees of FND who had been working for at least 7 years. This created a new succession plan for the future of the company. “New blood was injected in the Company by this move. The next generation will be the flag bearers of the Company in the future” he said.
It is a common saying that engineering and architecture can be done at any price but good engineering and good architecture is difficult and does not come cheap. Owners try to cut costs by opting for consultancy services at a low fee being offered by some firms. Consultancy fee being paid these days ranges between is 1-3% of the cost of MEP systems depending on the size and complexity of the project, and any savings in consultancy fee will make a miniscule impact on the overall cost of the project. “Owners must realize that the only way to achieve substantial savings is to get the project designed to good engineering standards and the design is optimized and value engineered to save both owning and operating cost. This can only be achieved if the Consultants are paid reasonable fee”, said Engr. Fahim Siddiqui.
Engr. Fahim Siddiqui had very interesting insights regarding retaining people in the company. He said that “in the 1980s when skilled workforce started moving to other countries the first ones to go were the ‘Ustads’. After they left the ‘Shagirds’ filled the vacuum created by their absence and the whole market felt the standard of work drop significantly,” he said. According to Engr. Fahim Siddiqui, the only way to stop this from happening, is to make it financially viable for the work force to stay in Pakistan. “People go not because they want to leave Pakistan but because to earn more money from abroad. If you can come up with an equation which is equitable, even if not 100% equal, people will prefer to stay here”, he explained. FND caught on to the concept very early and offered its employees a stake in the company. In addition to that the employees are offered a provident fund for which the company contributes 8.3%. Medical coverage for the employee and his family is also available along with General insurance. In addition to this lunch is provided by the company every day.
While commenting on the use of imported products and raw materials in buildings he said that, “The standard and quality of the imported product is significantly higher than the local one, and for Clients who want quality work, the choice of local material and products is very limited”. To increase the market of local products it is the need of the hour that the local industry starts focusing on increasing the standards of their products. Only then can we survive the ruthless international marketplace.
In the end while giving a message to the young and striving engineers of Pakistan he said, “Do not worry about your salary during the first few years of your career. These are the formative years which helps in the development of an engineer. During this time focus on learning as much as possible. Just be honest and try to keep a positive attitude and you’ll do just fine.”
FND offers comprehensive engineering consultancy services for MEP Systems in all kinds of buildings, i.e. Commercial, Institutional, Educational, Residential, Industrial, Hospitality, Retail, and Cultural market segments.
FND applies the latest project and data management technologies combining experience with innovation. The Firm is completely independent of construction firms, manufacturers and/or financial institutions, and exclusively represents the interests of Clients.
FND’s aspiration for outstanding professionalism, diverse background in the building industry and services fields, and a commitment to quality, brings to the firm’s projects a formula for excellence, and provides to Clients a one window solution to the needs of their projects.
FND is recognized for its professional work, reflected in the:
- Integrity of its designs,
- Conformance to relevant & applicable standards,
- Single window MEP coordinated solutions,
- Designs that emphasize maintainability, accessibility and replaceability,
- Adoption of innovative, energy efficient & green solution based on life-cycle costing,
- High quality & timely construction by adequate supervision during construction process,
- Ensuring proper operation of systems by due diligence during commissioning & testing stage,
- Preparation of complete record of construction, as well as operations & maintenance manuals to undertake effective operations of systems beyond construction,
- Adequate training of Client personnel to achieve proper operation of systems.