Every fit-out project has someone behind it to ensure successful completion. With SDW, we have Ronaldo “Ronnie” Mata, our project director. He ensures that SDW’s construction project goes well from the start to the handover to the client. See that the project is executed within time, within budget, and with excellent quality. He is one of SDW’s experts when it comes to fit-out.
Ronnie, as his colleagues call him, is a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering graduate from the Mapua Institute of Technology. He joined SDW six months ago but has been in the industry for 24 years. He has worked with major building corporations in the Philippines and the Middle East. His significant accomplishments include the Amazon Office Fit Out, the Doha Metro Station Project, the Mandarin Hotel in Doha, Qatar, and the Burj Khalifa Tower, the world’s tallest skyscraper. He is an expert in project management for interior fit-out.
We asked him a few questions to learn more about his background and thoughts.
Q. What companies have you worked for before? What was your role?
I worked as a project manager for Chesneyvale Philippines, Redco International in Qatar, Fino International in Qatar, and Fino International Dubai.
Q. How did you end up in your current role with SDW?
Turner & Townsend Country Manager Richard Stewart recommended me to our CEO, Gaz Holgate. I worked with Richard on the Amazon MNL13 Project at the MOA Complex.
Q. What does your job entail?
I was overall in charge of the execution of the project, from mobilization up until handover to the client. See that the project is executed within time, within budget, and with excellent quality.
Q. What is your expertise?
Interior fit-out. I have been in the interior fit-out industry for more than 24 years. And I worked in the Middle East, Dubai, and Qatar for twenty-one years.
Q. How do you feel about your job? Do you like working with SDW?
I enjoy working with SDW since it allows you to have independence in making project-related decisions, and the management has been supportive so far.
Q. What types and sizes of projects have you built?
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest skyscraper; the Armani Hotel interior fit-out inside the Burj Khalifa; and the Doha Metro Project, which I am proud to have been a part of.
Q. What is your dream project?
Green building projects. Something sustainable—something different than conventional projects.
Q. How do you handle the pressure?
In every project and every organization, there is always pressure. So I deal with it one day at a time. Staying focused on the goal is how I manage stress.
Q. Have you ever experienced conflict with superiors, and how did you handle it?
Yes, I have. The strategy I wanted to implement was different from what my superiors had planned. The key to this is sometimes you need to compromise.
Q. Have you ever experienced conflict with clients, and how did you handle it?
There is a saying, “The customer is always right.” I respect that. I have so far avoided conflict with the client.
Q. What actions would you take if a project fell behind schedule or exceeded the project’s budget?
Q. What has been your biggest challenge on site, and how have you overcome it?
I guess COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge, and everyone has been affected by it. But being resilient is the way I have overcome it.
Q. What would you do if some of your workers were not using the necessary safety equipment?
For the first offense, warn them. Remove them onsite for repeated violations.
Q. How would you describe your ideal work environment?
The ideal work environment for me encourages creativity rather than suppresses it. Imbibe a positive attitude and team camaraderie.
Q. As an SDW expert, how do you approach leadership?
Lead by example. Firm in decision-making or decisiveness, and open to or accepting suggestions or criticism to improve project execution