5 Minutes With: Markus Oberlin

fmME delves below corporate strategy to understand what makes the region’s FM service providers tick

Markus Oberlin, CEO of Farnek Services.
Markus Oberlin, CEO of Farnek Services.

0:00 What does your role involve?

As the CEO, of course I have ultimate responsibility for growing our revenue base and maximising profitability. I am also responsible for consolidating Farnek’s position as one of the leading total FM companies in the UAE and the employer of choice for our industry. In addition, I’m tasked with creating awareness of our corporate sustainability initiatives and our environmentally friendly business practice.

1.45 What do you love most about your job?

Being recognised by our customers and industry peers for the quality of our work and our service excellence is always very rewarding, whether that is through industry awards or major contract wins.

2.05 What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The FM market is exceptionally competitive and due to the current economic climate, it can be very challenging,, to not only win new contracts but to retain existing ones, especially if building owners or managers simply focus on price. We believe this is false economy – we always try and drive home the ‘value’ message. However, this hasn’t affected our overall growth as a company. The real estate market is growing at an incredible rate and the FM industry is evolving and maturing in tandem, as more property owners appreciate protecting their property.

3.00 What has been your most memorable project and why?

That’s an easy question, it has to be when we were awarded the maintenance contract for the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. How could we top that if you’ll pardon the pun! We believe that project win (among others) was instrumental to Farnek being recognised as the ‘Overall FM Company of the Year’ at the 2015 Facilities Management Middle East Awards.

4.05 Where do you see the FM industry in five years?

One key factor we have witnessed in the future of FM, is that the industry is heading towards reliable centred maintenance to avoid any asset breakdown. This means that by using measuring equipment such as thermography or vibration measurement, potential issues can be predicted and fixed before a failure occurs. Sustainability will also be integral to all buildings within five years, not only to reduce, save water and electricity, but to reduce carbon emissions and cut operating costs.

4.45 What do you like to do in your spare time?

I try go to the gym as often as I can, but I like to spend most of my spare time with my wife and my
two daughters.

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