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Podcast: Contractors Direct discuss 'cost vs quality' in the fit-out sector

EXCLUSIVE: Founder and CEO of the startup, David Cook, discusses a first-of-its-kind entry in the fit-out sector

Founder and chief executive officer of Contractors Direct, David Cook
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Founder and chief executive officer of Contractors Direct, David Cook

The founder and chief executive officer of Contractors Direct, David Cook, has revealed details of the company's first-of-its-kind entry in the fit-out sector in the region to Construction Week's editor Ashley Williams.

Launched in January 2020, Contractors Direct is a digital startup company that facilitates stakeholders’ access to pre-qualified contractors in the commercial fit-out sector.

Listen to the entire conversation here. 

Cook talks about the driving idea behind the company, which started as a boutique project management consultancy firm. He stated that Contractors Direct’s aim was to link stakeholders with contractors through a free-of-charge platform, representative of the best value, backed by diligence tests to ensure credibility and enhanced contractor choices.

Contractors Direct aims to “clean up the contractors market” by distinguishing favourable contractors from the unfavourable and “educate the clients on the same by offering a route of new leads,” Cook adds.

Cook further states that clients often mistakenly base their decisions on “cost over quality”. He says that Contractors Direct’s exclusive partnership with peer-to-peer lending platform Beehive.ae allows the company to build on the value offered to clients by offering clients finance terms for projects, making it the only company in the region to do so.

Another key exclusive partnership was between Contractors Direct and property portal Bayut.com, Cook states. While rents are coming down, the cost of fit-outs is not complementing the decline in rents, he adds. The startup firm made available a “fit-out calculator” to enhance users’ decisions in this regard. 

Cook also addressed upcoming challenges and solutions to tackle those in the startup journey. He further spoke about Contractors Direct’s plans to establish strategic partnerships with entities such as free zones.

"When you are the first to do anything, you almost write the rules yourself. We are looking to extend focus to the Saudi Arabia region and other neighbouring countries as well. Without setting any limits, we aim to grow the business in the trend the market is dictating so we can continually provide tailor-made value-based solutions to our users,” Cook concludes.

Construction Week Viewpoint is a weekly podcast series produced by the Construction Week editorial team and published on SoundCloud and iTunes at noon (GST) every Monday.

Business leaders are regular podcast special guests. The weekly bulletin has welcomed the likes of Grant Porter, CEO of the Middle East and Africa for Atkins; Anthony Taylor, head of real estate for ENBD-Reit; Lee French, Cundall Middle East’s operations director; and tech entrepreneur Karim Helal, co-founder and chief executive officer of building portal ProTenders.

To volunteer yourself or a colleague as a guest speaker on Construction Week Viewpoint, please contact Ashley Williams.

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