Source: eKapija | Tuesday, 26.04.2016.| 15:01
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Jaromir Kriz, head of Tebodin for Central and East Europe - Our expansion in Serbia will depend on domestic market growth

Jaromir Kriz
Jaromir Kriz
Number of greenfield investments has still been on the increase in Serbia while the rest of Central European region is focused on expanding building extension and reconstruction. I am optimistic when it comes to Serbia. Not only do I feel there is undoubted potential for market growth but also the office of Tebodin in Belgrade is ready for further success and achievements, Jaromir Kriz, headof Tebodin for CEE says in his interview for eKapija.

For ten years now, the company has been providing services in project and cost management and planning and construction management. As Kriz outlines, their main advantage is that they are always there for their clients throughout the entire cycle of an investment project.

In his interview for eKapija , Kriz is also speaking about what makes Tebodin specific at the Serbian market, why green building is important, as well as which projects they have been engaged so far .

eKapija: How has your company performed in Central Europe, and particularly in Serbia, last year and what are your expectations regarding business performance in 2016?

Our customers are faced with challenging market conditions such as in oil & gas with the sharp drop of the oil price, But also other industrial markets in our area, are affected by global economic and financial developments. Despite these challenging market circumstances and high competiveness, we managed to be profitable and we met our operational plans. Tebodin in Serbia positively contributed to this achievement with their excellent result in 2015. As for 2016, I see the Central European market waking up. Many new investments in both the industrial and the commercial real estate sector have already started, and many more new ones are under preparation.

eKapija: What range of services do you offer and what differentiates your company compared to similar service providers in Serbia?

We are an engineering and consultancy company with a strong customer focus. Our international knowledge and expertise allows us to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations from the very beginning of the investment, offering support from the first initiative with a broad range of consultancy services, multidisciplinary engineering design, all the way through project- and construction management, site supervision and commissioning. This ability, to cover the entire project lifecycle, is our differentiating factor, Tebodin in Serbia is part of Tebodin’s regional network in Central and Eastern Europe encompassing 800 engineers in 7 countries. We are the most widely spread engineering company in this part of Europe. We strive to share experienced personnel and specific industry/client know how in order to ensure the best quality of service. Our strengths lie not only in design & engineering, management and consultancy. We are especially experienced in core processes of food, chemical, and automotive sectors and we also have experts in energy, including green building solutions and savings. In light of all this, I do have to say that our employees are the basis for our success. Tebodin has a ‘family’ spirit and our offices cooperate on many projects with each other. This is a key quality that benefits not only the employees themselves, but also the clients.

eKapija: What is your overall approach to project development and sustainable building?

Our approach is a customer approach; we act as client’s representative, which means that we promote the client’s interest and those of the development. There are many ways to develop projects. Tebodin mostly deals with EPCm (engineering design, procurement, and construction management) approach or PMC (Project Management Consultancy). Seeing that we have all the necessary experts in house, we cater to the project from start to finish, and are able to react to project needs. However, every client has different requirements and standards, and we are flexible in meeting any request.

As far as sustainable buildings are concerned, I believe that industrial buildings in particular cannot truly be sustainable unless they are built by the investor. It is important for us to become involved from the very beginning in order to make sure all aspects are thought through, such as flexibility of usage, future extensions, smart logistics, energy efficiency, and pleasant working environments. We are able to optimize energy consumptions of buildings and core processes, achieving significant savings in exploitation phase. These principles are, of course, also applied to our commercial building projects.

eKapija: Are green building solutions a common practice in Serbia and what consultancy services do you offer in this area? Do you have a tailored approach to sustainable solutions?

Tebodin has closely followed the developments in this field and has fully certified experts in both LEED and BREEAM standards. Over the years we have worked on various projects in the CEE region, from commercial buildings to industrial production halls.

The Green building solutions have still not come into full force in Serbia though, in the last couple of years, there are more and more investors realizing that the benefits of a LEED or BREEAM certified building is not just a nice plaque on the wall, but an improved working environment offering significant savings. Central Europe experienced a boom in building certification that is still going strong, and with the growth of multinational investors in Serbia we see more and more clients who are deciding to adopt these standards on local projects.

eKapija: Could you please mention some key projects you have worked on in Serbia over the past 10 years and how have your clients benefited from your services?

Works on A block
Works on A block
-Our company’s motto is that we are ‘always close’ –we are where our clients need us to be. This is how we started in Serbia: through a project for Knauf Insulation in Surdulica. The years that followed we worked on many projects large and small, simple and complex for a wide variety of investors. We are proud to have worked with the leading investors on the Serbian market. The last few years in particular have positioned us in the top 10 of Serbian engineering and consultancy field; we have been involved on projects from Deka Inženjering, MPC Properties, Tigar Tyres, Delhaize, Cooper Tire, Cooper Standard, Fresenius Medical Care etc.

The celebration marking 10 years on the market allowed us to reflect on all of our achievements and clients we have served. A video showcasing some of our references can be viewed here.

eKapija: What projects are you currently working on and do you have any new large scale projects in the pipeline for 2016?

At the moment I am proud that our cooperation with Tigar Tyres on their production complex extension will continue. To my knowledge, this is one of the largest industrial expansions in recent times in Serbia. We are also managing the ABLOK development in Belgrade with a total of around 120,000m2 of residential and commercial space. We have also just recently won a high profile project on the outskirts of Belgrade. Parallel to all this we are continuously working on some retail expansions and reconstructions most notably for Delhaize and MOL, as well a wide variety of lender supervision services for most of the major banks on the market, including UniCredit Bank and Banca Intesa.

eKapija: Given your vast local experience, how would you evaluate Serbia's construction sector and do you expect further growth in the coming years?

-It is interesting that we are still seeing major Greenfield developments in the Serbian market, whereas the focus in the rest of Central European region is on extensions of buildings and reconstructions.I am quite positive when it comes to Serbia. Not only do I feel that there is undoubted growth potential for the market, but Tebodin’s office in Belgrade is set for further successes and achievements.

eKapija: What is the most important factor for successful project management and realization and have you identified any developing trends?

The success of a project depends on good preparation. It is critical that the project manager is involved into the process as early as possible – not just after the tendering process for the contractor has been finalized. The value of having project management expertise is often underestimated – I cannot underline enough that professional project management services pay off many times over by end of the project. Project management is essentially strategy formation and its execution, with the end user and the investor’s interests in mind. Good preparation, quality engineering & design, and professional site management during construction are the key elements for a job well done.

eKapija: How many people do you currently employ in Serbia and are you planning further expansion in CE? In your opinion, which local country has the most potential for industrial investment in 2016?

Serbia has shown rapid growth over the last three years in particular – increasing the employee base four times. We have a model in place in Serbia to anticipate the economic volatility. Our future expansion will depend on economic developments on the local market, so, definitely, Serbia has potential for growth. Most of the preconditions for growth are present, it’s just a matter of being recognized by potential investors. Regionally speaking, what I do know is that the Czech Republic and Poland are booming hotspots, and Romania is also waking up. An interesting period indeed awaits us all, and we cannot wait to showcase our expertise to new investors.

Teodora Brnjos

Entire content of Topic-focused newsletter "Real estate - new investment cycle" is available HERE.
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