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CW Oman Awards 2018: S&T on Contractor of the Year 2017 honours

by Neha Bhatia on Mar 3, 2018

S&T Interiors and Contracting was crowned Contractor of the Year at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2017. The trophy was one of two secured by the Oman-headquartered contractor at the event’s grand finale last year.

One member of Construction Week’s panel of industry judges praised the company for having consistently delivered high-quality work, both within Oman and on the international stage. The accolade followed a particularly active year for S&T, both in the sub- and main-contracting segments. In addition to supporting a selection of high-profile projects in Oman, the company completed its London-based development with the Q1 2017 launch of The Lalit, a five-star, Grade II-listed hotel located in the city’s South Bank district.

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How did being named the Contractor of the Year at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2017 impact S&T’s prospects and performance last year?

The Construction Week award has been a great honour. It recognised all S&T’s hard work, and has raised the company’s brand profile within the market. Previously, S&T’s reputation relied on word-of-mouth. But our market visibility  witnessed a manifold rise after the award. In a way, this has helped us to win repeat orders from our esteemed clientele. It has also helped to boost the morale of our employees.

Various strategic facilities in Oman, and large-scale projects such as the renovation of Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat, are among the project wins that showcase our civil; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP); and fit-out contracting capabilities.

How has the size and type of projects within S&T’s portfolio changed since the company won the award?

S&T has transformed from being an interior fit-out company into a total turnkey solution provider, which authenticates our farsightedness in terms of adapting to changing market scenarios.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akdhar, a five-star hotel that S&T and ALEC worked on a in a joint venture, is one project that has already been completed by us, and is now operational.

Two other projects of ours – one, a high-end seafront-facing commercial turnkey project, and the other a five-star hotel in the capital region of Oman – are slated for completion in 2018 and 2019. The projects are respectively pre-certified for LEED Gold and Silver certifications.

This portfolio establishes the extent of the progressive transformation that S&T has undergone.

What is S&T’s forecast for the Omani construction market in 2018, and what does the company have planned for this year?

Oman’s economy is going through one of the most challenging times it has ever faced, due to global economic factors and the deficit budget of the government. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s vision to generate non-oil revenues, and diversify into sectors such as tourism and logistics, will certainly boost S&T’s business prospects in the coming years. The future looks very positive.

The present climate in the construction sector is such that it will be a case of  survival of the fittest, and S&T is geared up to meet this challenge. We anticipate that our business will continue to grow, and expect to post some of our maturing talent in Kenya, and possibly Tanzania, to deliver services there.

What kind of projects is S&T planning to work on this year?

Hospitality, commercial, housing, and infrastructure projects are among the sectors we intend to focus on.

Duqm is an upcoming area where development is currently gaining momentum, and I think that S&T should focus more on that market, particularly in light of a commercial accommodation megaproject for a private client that we handed over recently in the governorate.  We have been awarded additional work from the same client, and we intend to continue to grow our Duqm presence in the future.

S&T is also focusing on public-private sector projects, in line with the Tanfeedh initiative of the Omani government.

What are your top tips for the nominees of the Construction Week Oman Awards this year?

Believe in what you do, and do what you believe in. Putting across the facts and ascertaining leadership qualities are the best ways to showcase your projects.