Tell us about your role at Modulous.
I’m here as the interface between our customers and our brilliant product, digital solutions, and delivery teams at Modulous. So I’ll be there to engage and hopefully convert the customers to the benefits of our services whilst enabling feedback to our teams on how they can evolve the offer over time.
How did you get started in the construction field?
My uncle was a town planner, which introduced me to real estate. I was also always interested in my chosen vocation to have some tangible output. So naturally, I began gravitating toward construction, which was enforced by my initial work experience. Moreover, the diversity of people I met, the diversity of cultures, and the opportunities that construction brings up also attracted me. It is something that keeps me motivated and enthusiastic.
What did you learn from your first-hand experience managing construction and real estate development?
The critical takeaway is concentrating on managing the friction, and by friction, I mean the physical interfaces and the transactional interfaces. If you can concentrate on getting those interfaces right, the remainder of the process will flow seamlessly. Also, it’s the fragmentation of the construction industry combined with the bespoke nature of most projects we put together that’s to the bedevilment of any progress we make in productivity. If we can address those points, those are the takeaways I would bring to help me overcome them.
How did you get introduced to Modulous?
Eighteen months before I joined, I was meeting with Modulous to hear about the benefits they could bring to the organization I worked for at that time. I liked their vision so much that I decided then that I needed to be a part of it.
How is digitisation transforming construction?
It has the potential to boost productivity at all stages of the process, and there are areas in which certain companies have been successful in doing so. However, I think we can make more significant steps if it goes hand in hand with product standardisation at a portfolio level. In other words, it’s not just on an individual project level but looking at an organization and the assets they want to create. Additionally, we’re getting involved in the process earlier when possible. So we’re convincing clients about getting involved earlier and doing it at a portfolio level to see the benefits over time.
What role will partnerships and collaboration play in the evolving built environment?
By nature, any construction project is a series of collaborations. What I’ve seen at Modulous is the catalyst of the product and digital solutions expertise alongside established real estate and construction expertise. Seeing that dynamic and how they spark with each other is genuinely exciting. Moreover, adding customers and suppliers into that dynamic will complete the picture of achieving the change we want.
And what role is played by data?
When you’re testing the viability of any project, you want to do that with the best information. I think Modulous will be able to give you that at any stage. It’s the ability to see real-time, accurate information that will improve any customer’s decision-making. And hopefully, the end asset will be a product of that better information.
What key obstacles do we have to overcome as we develop solutions to achieve greater productivity in the construction sector?
For me, it’s going to be inertia created by a lack of focus, which is on both sides of the coin. At Modulous, we need to be selective and, sometimes, ruthless in how we evolve our relationship and our offer to customers. So that will be achieved through honest dialogue where we will ensure that we meet their expectations and hopefully exceed them. At the same time, we keep our in-house talent focused on what delivers genuine change for customers and the industry.
What would be an example of a project demonstrating the genuine change in how multi-family housing is built and the quality of that multi-family housing?
My testimony will always be people’s feedback on the process they’ve gone through. Additionally, removing friction regarding how physical componentry comes together and how different stakeholders interface with each other will lead to the best outcome.
How would you describe the culture at Modulous? How does it relate to the company’s vision for the housing industry?
Modulous is endeavouring to change an industry and a sector within that industry in housing that’s not renowned for its embrace of evolution. I think the company’s talent, attitude, and collaboration are genuinely infectious. We look forward to how we translate that into a real difference for our customers and, ultimately, the sector as a whole. It is that sort of can-do attitude and asking, “How do we overcome that? How do we use the talent within the team to bring all that together?” that customers and suppliers buy into.
I think the global challenge is that the only way we can deliver housing that is needed now and what’s forecast is to do something at a scale that hasn’t been achieved. Combined with some of the perfect storm scenarios we’re seeing currently with material pricing, labour shortage, and the productivity problem we’ve had in the industry, it is the right time to embrace that it will take a seismic change in attitude to do this. That’s the vision the Modulous team has set out, and we’re seeing clients buying into it. We hope that will breed confidence in other people that there is something here that will transform the way we deliver housing.