Ahmad Refaieh – Bid Manager
Who was the most influential person in your life when you were growing up?
There are many people who have had a tremendous influence in my life, but my parents have been two of the biggest.
My mum taught me how to be grateful and appreciate simple things in life. She taught me how to be patient and resilient in times of hardships and difficulties. On the other hand, my dad taught me the true meaning of generosity and hard work. It’s the combination of both these incredible people that have shaped the person I am today.
What first inspired your career in the construction industry?
When I was young, we lived in the city, and across the road was a high rise residential building site. I always wanted to be out on the balcony, observing it all come together. I watched each part of the process with engaged enthusiasm. Also, during my childhood, my dad developed a mixed-use building and would take me to the site on weekends. You could say Construction has been in my blood from a very early age.
I had finished Uni and was looking for some work experience. At that point, Binah was just was Amen, Khalil an accountant and a receptionist. We built the business up from there.
I started with a scale ruler, a pen, and no printer. I used to drive across town with a USB to get drawings printed. I was so mindful of not making an error because that would require redoing the whole process.
Did you find a mentor along the way who guided you professionally?
Amen played an integral role in mapping out the potential construction pathways I could take as a graduate when embarking on my career. During my time at Binah, Mark Longo’s extensive experience and guidance has also been invaluable.
What are some of the challenges you typically face with each tender?
It’s a balancing act of being lean and aggressive to get the best result for the client without compromising the company’s integrity and the outcome.
How do you stay organised?
Create a routine, set my goals, know the priorities, and follow up. I delegate with a clear focus. First thing every morning, I catch up with my team to keep our progress on track.
Do you have a favourite memory or milestone as part of your journey with Binah?
There are many but to name a few, my first lodged/approved DA, and first won contract job. Still, my favourite would be when I led a digital transformation introducing the latest software to expedite and digitalise the measuring process to minimise and eliminate human error.
Design, functionality, and material options have diversified and evolved. More and more new buildings are now constructed ‘SMART’. This means optimised for minimal energy use and readiness for clean, renewable energy sources. Security and quality of life are also at the forefront of the design process, including higher-quality air circulation, water sourcing and insulation. Sustainable Construction is a new approach to building that improves how we build and live.
We have also welcomed the much-needed presence of the Building Commissioner, David Chandler. David has stepped in and cracked down on dishonest developers whilst also shining a light on those of us doing the right thing.
What do you believe is the key to managing your team for maximum productivity?
Personally, I believe in leading by example, which inspires trust in my team. Setting cohesive values and strengthening the communication channels to gather a 100% buy-in.
What makes a great leader/ manager?
I always look for opportunities to lead by creating an environment of innovation and constant improvement so that my team can grow and contribute beyond their role.
As leaders, we should also extend our guidance outside of our departments. It’s not something we chase recognition for, but rather knowing the whole company benefits from the extra support.
Being a leader comes from within; it’s something we are born with, but it takes the right belief or opportunity to step into that role and shine.
I always go back to the first principle and start writing things down; I question myself and pinpoint the primary source of overwhelm, set boundaries on my workload, and challenge the assumptions. Overwhelm can come from thinking, “What if?” – our heads can get ahead of ourselves. It’s good to rule those things out.
What is the key to keeping our standards high and consistently delivering a quality product?
Continuously improve strategies, reengineering operations to de-risk business and uplift quality. Keep workshopping how we can be better with the team and figure out ways to implement this.
What do you admire most about Amen and Khalil and the Binah journey?
Amen and Khalil have a clear vision of exactly what they want to achieve and which direction the team should be going. They never stray from this.
Growing partnerships into lifelong partnerships is at the core of all Binah operations. Can you share some benefits of establishing lifelong business relationships?
If you are investing the time and effort into getting to know your clients by listening to their needs and serving them to the best of your abilities, you are well on the way to successful relationship building. By offering excellent service and establishing a loyal customer base will encourage repeat business and ingrain trust and confidence into the future.
What advice would you give to a construction student about entering the real world of Construction?
There are a lot of incredible opportunities in the construction industry. If you have an open mind, the career paths are endless. Think about what you enjoy the most and where do your strengths lie? Then pursue that.
“If you are investing the time and effort into getting to know your clients by listening to their needs and serving them to the best of your abilities, you are well on the way to successful relationship building.”