Senior Team Spotlight – Sahil Oberoi, Operations Director, Asia
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up early at around 6 AM, prepare two cups of herbal tea for me and my wife to start the day, and then go out for a walk in a nearby park. Often, I read small passages from a novel I carry with me to motivate and energise me for my day ahead. As soon as I return home, I check my emails, list down tasks, sorting them by priority – this helps my mind focus on tasks involuntary while getting ready for my workday.
Before starting work, I always pray and seek blessings of God and my late father. My job involves coordinating work with team members, and being a Quantity Surveyor myself, most of the times I try to be part of the project team meetings which generally occur at start of the day where I share my knowledge and input with the team. I tend to finish all my meetings with the Asia team by noon, and thereafter I am available for the rest of my day to the UK team and to work on my planned tasks.
My wife and I have lunch together as she works in same office complex, and take a 10-minute stroll to talk about our day at work. She helps me relax and focus when I am in a difficult situation.
Often there are unexpected project related calls/meetings to keep me busy during the second half of my day, and I find time in between those to go desk-to-desk and talk with the team about their assignments. During these visits, I try to improve morale and form a personal connection with the members of our team. Before bringing the day to a close, I go through the list of tasks I created at the start of the day and try my best to leave none unchecked.
What first attracted you to the construction industry?
I am a big fan of documentary films ranging from nature, history, technology, and science. During my high school days, just before joining university, I used to watch the TV series ‘Megastructures’, which fascinated me and I think it played a role in me choosing Civil Engineering for my degree. I believe my love of Maths and playing with numbers ever since childhood encouraged me to choose Quantity Surveying as a profession.
What are your predictions for the construction industry over the next 12-18 months?
I am expecting the construction industry to post a sharp rebound following the collapse in activity for last 1-1/2 years caused by COVID-19 restrictions. In the short term, I am expecting huge investments in technological sectors like datacentres. I also expect similar investments pouring into the fields of medical sciences, and supply chain. Governments around the world will be pushing in massive funds to build infrastructure, which is going to play a huge role in reviving the economies and generate mass employment.
In the time span of a few years to a decade, I am expecting a shift towards construction technology becoming more automated, with a focus on modular and offsite construction, BIM compliant projects, remote worksites and mobile access. These will surely be exciting times for the construction industry.
What are your goals for Soben in that time?
At Soben, we are in a phase of global expansion with ambitious plans of entering into new countries, sectors, and markets which will ultimately require strengthening of our team in Centres of Excellence. My goal is to be an integral part of our growth plans and contribute positively to the success of Soben.
If you were not in construction, what path would your career have taken?
If not for construction, I would have loved to be a professional football player. Visiting Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool FC, is at the top of my bucket list. It would be a dream come true if Soben can be a part of its expansion plans.