Ramboll is "busier than last year"
Engineering consultancy Ramboll sees steady uptake in its workload.
Engineering consultancy Ramboll Middle East is “actually busier than last year in terms of projects,” says associate director: building services Louise Collins.
“The biggest problem we have picked up on is the freeze on recruitment as we do not have any long-term workload. In the short term, although we are all working very hard, we do not want to take people on just to have to let them go.
"We are actually busier than last year in terms of projects.” Collins attributes this to the necessity of having sufficient cash on hand on order to be able to tackle new projects.
“The downturn obviously affected our cash flow and resources. A number of our major projects went on hold. A couple of them are actually starting up again, while on others we have kept resources on-site,” says Collins. Ramboll is working closely with clients in terms of payment.
“I think it is tough for all of us, as new work is constrained by cash-flow issues. Most companies were probably cash-rich last year as 2008 was a great year, but they did not build up sufficient reserves, so this year it is very much tougher, with cost-cutting being the order of the day.
“We are maintaining our head count at the moment, as we do not want to lose the good staff. This is fairly hard to control, as you have to have the right people as well. Our work is far more dispersed around the region at the moment, from Jordan to Syria and Abu Dhabi, with only a few projects in Dubai."
Collins adds that Dubai is showing some signs of life again. “We are starting to get enquiries into the costs of getting stalled projects back on track and approved.”
Read the full interview with Louise Collins in the October issue of MEP Middle East.