5 Minutes With: Romano Fionda
fmME delves below corporate strategy to understand what makes the region’s FM service providers tick
0.00 What does your role involve?
My role is quite diverse and involves overall responsibility for the business development of both our facilities management business in UAE and Oman, our airports business across the whole Middle East region, and more recently into Asia as well. I am also responsible for sales and marketing in the Middle East.
1.45 What do you love most about your job?
I have been with Cofely for 18 years, starting first in the UK and having spent the last four years in the UAE. Each day brings new challenges but also allows opportunities to meet people at all sorts of levels, both internally and externally. I am involved in exciting projects, and the Middle East is an exciting place to be in with so many business opportunities.
2.05 What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is the length of time it takes for tenders to be decided in this region. We can be highly motivated about a particular project, but the length of time it takes to be awarded can be frustrating. Coupled with the challenge of offering the best quality service, but not necessarily the cheapest, has its own set of trials.
3.00 What has been your most memorable project and why?
Having worked for the company for many years I have been involved on many memorable projects. I had overall responsibility for our BMW and Rolls Royce contracts in the UK, particularly with the BMW/Mini Engine plant and latterly in the Rolls Royce factory. In the Middle East, my most memorable project was bidding for an airport contract in Oman that remained a two-horse race all the way through. It lasted for a year.
4.05 Where do you see the FM industry in five years?
The FM industry, particularly in UAE, is currently saturated with service providers at different levels, which is driving prices down. I believe that there will come a stepped change within the next five years, and technology will play an even bigger part in FM than it already does. The change may be significant enough whereby customers, who are becoming well-informed and demanding, will take more of the services back in-house.
4.45 What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend most of my spare time with family, but I also like to use the gym and go swimming. Being Italian, I like to pursue my love of Italian cars, and I own the UAE Alfa Romeo Owners Club, along with a friend. I also follow Ferrari in their ongoing quest to be number one again in Formula 1.