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2018 CW Power 100 Preview: Anil Pillai of UAE's Airolink makes the cut

Dr Anil G Pillai is charting the upward trajectory of main contractor Airolink Construction Group, as it targets revenues of $200m in 2018

Dr Anil G Pillai is featured in the 2018 Construction Week Power 100.
Dr Anil G Pillai is featured in the 2018 Construction Week Power 100.
Pillai is the CEO and managing director of Airolink Construction Group.
Pillai is the CEO and managing director of Airolink Construction Group.

Dr Anil G Pillai, chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director of Airolink Construction Group, is among the new entrants in the 2018 Construction Week Power 100.

Pillai, who has held his role with the company for 18 years, led the main contractor to revenues worth $82m (AED302m) between 1 January and 31 December, 2017. This number will grow to $200m (AED734.6m) in 2018 as Airolink progresses with its work on the Al Mamzar Byblos Hotel and Mall, the Art Centre Retail Mall, and the Seven Residences projects in the UAE.

READ: Airolink starts construction on $75m school campus in Dubai

Between June 2017 and May 2018, the main contractor was involved with the Roda Villa in Abu Dhabi, the Roda Tower Refurbishment in Sharjah, and the Dubai Heights Academy projects.

For 2018, 15% of Airolink’s project revenue has already been secured, and the company’s workforce has also increased in line with its market growth. The firm currently employs 180 full-time qualified engineers, 2,600 unskilled labourers, and 56 women employees.

This staff will receive the benefits of a training budget worth almost $54,500 (AED200,000) this year, with development schemes this year to focus on site safety and “triple bottom-line thinking”.

Airolink’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes this year include a workforce accommodation project currently under construction in the UAE. The contractor’s CSR efforts last year included its involvement with supporting the UAE’s first Hindu temple.

The main contractor’s key areas of focus this year will be the UAE’s residential, hospitality, education, and retail sectors, Pillai told Construction Week, adding that Airolink’s agility would help it succeed in “an aggressively competitive market”.

Commenting on the challenges that might affect his business in the next 12 months, Pillai added: “Managing cashflow, timely payments, and growth [will be challenges to manage].

"Ensuring that, with this growth, our current controls and metrics to run all projects profitably are set up correctly and [are] current, [will also be a factor].”

The 2018 Construction Week Power 100 is the annual ranking of the Middle East’s most influential construction leaders, and will be revealed across Construction Week’s print, digital, and video channels by 30 June.

Scroll down to watch the 2018 Construction Week Power 100 Preview, and visit Construction Week’s YouTube channel to catch our full Power 100 playlist.

Click here to check out the 2017 Construction Week Power 100. 

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Construction Week - Issue 729
Feb 14, 2019