CHALLENGINEERS

Qatar 2019 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

Coastal Qatar is a lean and agile organization, renowned for taking on projects that pose too big of a challenge to similar companies.

Nishad Azeem
BIOGRAPHY
Nishad Azeem is founder and owner of Coastal Group. He has over 20 years of extensive professional experience in the construction industry in the region, in both oil and gas and infrastructure projects. He has created several joint ventures with leading manufacturers to manufacture their products locally in Qatar. Prior to his entrepreneurial venture, he worked with Occidental Petroleum and Parsons Engineers. He holds an Executive MBA from the prestigious HEC Paris, an MSc Engineering in Project Management, a bachelors in Civil Engineering, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Why does Coastal Qatar brand itself as “The Challengineers," and what are some of the challenges it has overcome through innovative engineering solutions?

We specialize in, and really enjoy, executing challenging projects. Our project portfolio rarely contains any ordinary ones. We try to avoid projects that are routine and with a large number of competitors. We thrive on projects that push the boundaries of engineering innovation and creativity, and that force us to come up with innovative ideas and solutions. The Emiri terminal at the airport was one complex project we worked on. Others include the Khalifa Stadium, the National Museum of Qatar, and the Aspire Dome. The company has been structured with divisions that support each other, and there are synergies between the divisions, allowing us to carry out the majority of our works inhouse. Notably, we have steel, construction, steel fabrication, galvanizing, and trading divisions. We are by design a lean and agile organization where decision processes are optimized to address challenges instantly. Our team of specialized engineers and highly skilled and dedicated workforce has been and will remain our main strength.

Coastal Qatar will manufacture seats for the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums. What does it mean for the country to have these produced locally?

Coastal has a contract in place for the manufacture and installation of seats for six FIFA World Cup 2022 stadiums, totaling about 300,000 seats. Being able to contribute to such an important component of the stadiums is definitely something the company is proud of. The seats are an important part of the spectator experience and our seats are manufactured to the highest standards with technology transfer from our partner Forum Seating. Our seats can compete with any of the leading brands in the international market. Our goal is to showcase Coastal seats in the global market as a quality Qatari product.

Qatar is experiencing a shift toward local production. Do you have plans to expand your in-country production capacity?

The current direction of the company is to be a leading manufacturer of construction related products. We are witnessing a huge construction buildup as we approach 2022, which opens up multiple opportunities for local manufacturers. As mandated by the 2030 vison, we will continue to support a diversified economy. With the development of infrastructure like ports and improved connectivity, we will have better access to global markets. We are in the process of setting up manufacturing facilities to produce products in short supply due to the blockade. We will soon be manufacturing street lighting posts, including high masts and antenna poles, and road crash barriers in partnership with a leading German company. These products sit well with our existing steel fabrication and galvanizing facilities and enhance the synergies between our divisions.

What is your approach to offer green business solutions?

The environment is something the company and I personally take great interest in. The company's galvanizing plant has been built in line with European environmental standards, which are over and above the requirements of local legislation. For our seat manufacturing, we use recycled material as mandated by the Supreme Committee. We work with various local recycling companies to recycle the majority of our waste and ensure that only the bare minimum ends up in landfills.

What are your goals and ambitions for the year ahead?

We have a positive outlook for the year ahead, especially in the sectors we are operating in. Our primary focus right now is on infrastructure and World Cup related projects. We are ahead of schedule on most of our projects and confident on meeting the deadlines of the projects in hand. There are, however, challenges that will arise as the World Cup approaches. We are in the process of gearing up to meet these, which are potential opportunities for Coastal. We are confident of overcoming the challenges with our innovative ideas and engineering expertise, after all, we are the Challengineers.