Fadil Redjep MRICS is a Macedonian project controls and programme management professional with a wealth of international experience. During his twenty-year career he has worked for leading construction and building automation companies in Kosovo, Iraq, Dubai, and Qatar, where he's currently based. He tells us how an international qualification has helped him find an exciting career around the world.
My first job experience was in Kosovo from 1999 to 2004 with the American company KBR, who were responsible for building one of the largest US military posts in Europe.
I was in charge of supporting the engineering and construction teams as a field supervisor and operations specialist, and I'm still very proud of the standardisation of all daily reporting metrics I worked on, which increased efficiency and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars of the operating budget.
That was really the beginning of my career in real estate.
Although I'm from Macedonia, I first heard about RICS in Dubai in 2016 when I was working at Johnson Controls with several RICS qualified professionals. My background is mainly with American companies, therefore I was used to the US standards until then, but immediately realised the global reach and recognition of RICS.
International clients in the Middle East ask their employees to be RICS qualified as a pre-screening; to them, it means that you are technically proven, you have a certain number of years of experience and your core competencies are at level two when you become MRICS.
Fadil Redjep MRICS
There are other great certifications around, like the PMP for project management, but they are just an indicator of technical skills, they don't ensure a 360-degree professionalism.
In fact, on top of the job-specific requirements, the ethical standards we must comply with are highly valued in the market. Having worked for American companies for many years, ethics was not new for me; at KBR, for example, we had a yearly internal exam on standards of conduct, but standards on topics like conflicts of interest are becoming more and more important in this industry as it's very easy to damage the reputation of a contractor or a client.
Becoming MRICS was a must to work with companies in the Middle East and was the right step to get a dream job with international mobility.
I'm proud to add my title to my signature as it's a mark of my professionalism, which also includes being associated with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators – a great combination for contract management.
The story of my assessment is also very international as I moved back to Macedonia and then qualified in Hungary because that's where Southern European candidates undertake their final assessment.
Last year, Greece and Macedonia reached a historic accord to resolve a dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name that has troubled relations between the two countries for decades. Under the deal, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev officially announced the new name of the country will be the Republic of Northern Macedonia. This change has also marked a desire for internationalisation as the brand-new republic is trying to become a member of NATO and to move from Schengen area access to full EU member status.
A few international forward-looking companies, like Johnson Controls and Mitsubishi, have started investing in the country and I expect more in the next future. If things continue to develop in the right direction, yes, I could move back to my country. Why not?
Some areas of the construction sector will undergo massive automation and technological changes, but there are some human skills which will always be needed.
Soft skills like negotiation and relationships management with different stakeholders can't be replaced by a machine.
Also, on the verification and standards side I expect clients to feel safer in the hands of a human being. At least for a while.