TOMMY STRYDOM - INYATSI CONSTRUCTION
How did you come into the road Infrastructure industry? Could you give a brief description of your role at Inyatsi Construction as well as what you enjoy the most about it?
I started at a major construction company as a student during my last two years of study in 1997. After studies, I was employed by them on a full-time basis in the Roads and Earthworks division and have worked in this field my whole career. My work at Inyatsi entails the setting up of the group strategy and ensuring that this strategy is achieved through all our subsidiaries. It also entails the constant evaluation of the company risks and setting the new direction for the group to follow. In the changing environment of contracting, it is also important that me and my team constantly identify and act on new business opportunities.
What do you believe to be the greatest challenge facing road Infrastructure projects within the sub-Saharan region, and how do we start to overcome these challenges?
The funding of projects is one of the major issues that the sub-Saharan region is facing. It is critical that the private sector and government sectors embrace the idea of working together to get large infrastructure projects implemented. The way we see this happening is through the so-called Private-Public-Partnerships (PPP) concept where the private sector can assist governments to identify, design, construct and procure private funding for such projects. We are calling this the New African Contract, which is basically a solution and relationships based contract. It must also be flexible to change as the requirements of the client changes.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the industry right now, and how Inyatsi Construction is positioned to capture it as a business?
At Inyatsi we have identified that one of the greatest opportunities currently in the industry is the PPP concept. We have to convince the clients that we are able to assist them in getting projects implemented. We have the ability to re-engineer the project to ensure that the client’s funding is spent properly and that their needs and requirements are met. This is however not an easy task as we have to first build up the trust in the construction industry to the level it was before 2010.
If you could change one thing in the industry going forward what would it be?
We have to continue thinking out of the box. Doing things the same way that we did it 50 years ago will not work in this new era of the 4th industrial revolution. We have to ensure that we create work opportunities for the youth as clients will start demanding this from the construction industry. We have to continue upskilling our engineers as well as our labour force so that we continue delivering world-class projects.
What is your proudest work achievement to date in the industry?
For me personally, it is to drive on any road that I had the privilege to work on. It’s also a huge privilege for me to work with the Inyatsi team over the last 8 years as somehow the Inyatsi spirit always prevails and we are able to motivate each other through some of the most difficult times. It truly is an honour to be able to lead such a great team into the future.
Chief Executive Officer - Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings