People, clients, business diversification and sustainability are key focuses for Nicky Dobreanu at Omnium

Dobreanu had previously worked with Omnium on projects and joined the firm as Branch Director in December last year

Ahead of the new year, in December 2022, regional construction veteran Nicky Dobreanu joined Omnium International as Branch Director. In an exclusive conversation with Middle East Construction News (MECN), Dobreanu says that he had previously worked with the Dubai-headquartered quantity surveying firm on numerous projects.

Talking to MECN about his focus and goals as a Director at the firm, Dobreanu says, “My particular focus is to support the projects of our growing client base, especially those under development in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Outside of the technical role, as a Branch Director, I’m keen to be more deeply involved in the training and professional mentoring of our staff, our greatest asset.”

“From the point of view of my Director’s role, my personal interest is to lead diversification of the business in the area of project consultancy, focusing on all aspects of sustainability. I would like to strengthen our ability to guide clients, and the industry as a whole, towards decarbonisation.”

Dobreanu points out that Omnium has won several awards for its employee care programmes, and notes that he sees this aspect as being a cornerstone of Omnium’s appeal and continuing success.

At the 2022 Middle East Consultant Awards Omnium International was awarded in two categories: Health & Safety and Wellness Champion of the Year and Cost Consulting Company of the Year, while Peter Westeng, Chairman of Omnium International, was bestowed MEC’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I believe that if our staff know that they are valued, trusted and have genuine opportunities to advance their careers, while also working on some of the most fascinating construction projects in the industry, they will stay with us in the long-term. This only serves to strengthen the company and provides our clients with unmatched teams of experienced professionals. Furthermore, Omnium takes seriously its commitment to ensure a diverse, inclusive business which allows progression based on merit and ability – I am confident that I can act to continue the development of the company in this direction.”

Discussing what he would like to achieve during his first six months, Dobreanu responds, “I look forward to building upon the strong collaborative working framework already in place at Omnium. Omnium has a strong track record of building excellent client relationships from the start, and creating a strong working partnership with all project team members and stakeholders – something I was witness to in my previous roles. This collaborative approach really instils trust and confidence in a project team, and I look forward to making my own mark on building on those solid relationships with my client base and project teams.”

On a more personal note, he says, “I want to dedicate some more time to CSR campaigns and giving back to the local and global community, to those less fortunate from around the world. I want to support and inspire the next generation of Omnium speakers, who will become the public face of the company at the numerous industry events, panel discussions and conferences that we take part in, allowing them to confidently share the remarkable work they do for our clients.”

“At Omnium, we will keep our people at the heart of everything we do and empower their productivity with technology – and we will always try to take time to reconnect to each other and the purpose of the company,” he states.

In June 2022, Omnium’s Fernando Freitas revealed he’s keen to continue expanding Omnium’s global reach and spearhead its move to decarbonisation services in the long term.

Dobreanu is a veteran of the regional construction industry, having held senior positions at ALDAR Properties, KEO, Gleeds, while also working with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and many others. He has participated in a number of industry events organised by Middle East Consultant and Big Project Middle East.

Given his vast experience, Dobreanu has amassed a wealth of experience on the region’s nuances, and the issues that affect companies and projects.

Asked about some of his key learnings and how he intends to leverage them in his new role, Dobreanu says, “One of the main takeaways focuses on aspects relating to our most essential asset, our staff. This covers aspects relating to culture, recruitment, retention, engagement and work-life balance. I expect to see a rise in purpose-led organisations, where collaboration is empowered irrespective of your background, experience, gender, or race. In order to unlock the true power and potential of all, and as Korn Ferry puts it, firms will need to address the issues of ‘invisible people and unheard voices’.”

“A second take away is the need to really focus on sustainability, again in all its dimensions. And a good starting for this for any firm or individual, would be the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Investors, clients, customers and employees are all turning their backs on businesses that will not commit to building a sustainable future, and demand for companies to act will only grow in 2023 and the years to come.”

In early March 2022, Omnium expanded its main board with the addition of Fernando Freitas.

Lastly, the use of digital transformation of the built environment is gaining momentum, and this should be on everyone’s agenda, he points out.

He concludes, “All digital technologies have the potential to improve the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure, making them safer, more energy-efficient, and more sustainable, while also improving the collaboration and communication among all stakeholders involved in construction projects.”

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