From Left to Right: Andrew Murray, Yolanda Sedibe, Human Resources Director, Rukesh Raghubir, Chief-executive officer

M&D Construction Group recently celebrated its 35th anniversary at an event that was attended by the company’s many clients, supply-chain partners and employees.

Yolanda Sedibe, M&D Construction Group’s human resources director, said it was fitting that such an important occasion be celebrated at the University of Witwatersrand’s Science Stadium considering the company’s long professional relationship with the institution of higher learning.

“This is where we first earned our reputation for being a specialist concrete contractor. We can proudly say that our Building Division refurbished and even completely rebuilt most of these stunning structures on campus. These buildings with their striking off-shutter finishes bear testament to the focus we place on ensuring the highest level of quality on all of our projects – one of the important drivers behind our growth over the years,” Sedibe said.

She credited M&D Construction Group’s supply-chain partners and, just as importantly, its dedicated employees for the company’s ability to always exercise its core values of “being safe”, “doing it right”, “finding the best way” and “doing what we say”.

These are supported by the company’s motto of “Khula Nathi”, an isiZulu phrase which means “Grow with us” in English.

“This focus spans our clients through to our various sub-contractors and suppliers. It guides everything that we do, and also includes our loyal employees who have demonstrated their commitment to the company. More than 60 members of our team have been with us for more than a decade. This speaks volumes of their commitment and the working environment that we have created over the years to develop and retain the people we need to help build this nation,”Sedibe said.

Company co-founder and chairperson, Andrew Murray, noted that one of M&D Construction Group’s other strengths was its diversity, reflected by the company’s client base, supply-chain and employees.

“While many people fear diversity, M&D Construction Group embraces and encourages it,” Murray said.

“It is a significant strength considering that a nation comprising different ethnicities and people with varying cultures and religious beliefs was able to thrive through so many ‘dark’ periods in South Africa’s history. These include the many anxious and uncertain episodes during the Apartheid era and those, such as the global economic meltdown, during our democracy. Certainly, it is this diversity that will ensure that we as a nation also endure the more recent ‘state capture’ saga that has had such a dire impact on the entire economy, including the entire South African construction industry,” he said. Murray noted that economic turmoil and political “shocks” were among the single biggest threats facing any business and were behind the high failure rate of many global companies which seldom make it to 30 years.

He said that M&D Construction Group had made it thus far by its robust and resilient management team; sufficient cash reserves to weather tumultuous episodes; and by always focusing on servicing clients to the best of its ability.

“M&D Construction Group started as a small company in 1982 and, by the end of 1983, we had only three fixed assets. We have grown to the point where we are now a diversified company with a strong presence in the building, civil construction, roads and earthworks, as well as plant-hire industries. The group now owns about 100 items of capital equipment and we will have turned over R1-billion this financial year,” Murray said.

Chief-executive officer, Rukesh Raghubir, said that management was confident that M&D Construction Group had a strong strategy in place to ensure that it achieved its target of becoming a R7-billion company and was strategically positioned to be at the forefront of technology and using innovation as a disruptor to the construction industry within the next 10 years.

“We set out to disrupt the traditional construction industry, and we will continue to do just that by harnessing advanced digital technologies, such as three-dimensional printing and augmented reality. M&D Construction Group is already undergoing its Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era that is defined by high levels of productivity, precision and safety,” Raghubir said.

He also said there was immense potential for the company to further ply its specialised skills set and capabilities in the demanding oil and gas, as well as renewable energy industries.

This would be on the back of the company’s extensive experience in the water industry which, Raghubir said, was also increasingly exploring the viability and applicability of decentralised infrastructure that will be operated by independent service providers – another immense opportunity for a specialist in the field.

Certainly, the company would also continue acting as a “big brother” to emerging contractors to ensure that they too thrived in the same manner as M&D Construction Group, despite an increasingly “tough” operating environment.

He reassured the company’s clients that M&D Construction Group remained committed to the highest possible quality standards.

“This will be achieved by continuing our focus on only working with the best sub-contractors and suppliers, while employing and retaining world-class skills in the construction industry. Our focus on quality is also dependent upon ongoing investment into mentoring, as well as skills development and training. This is in addition to ongoing investment into internal systems that ensure accountability and the ability to identify the root cause of problems. These have enabled M&D Construction Group to constantly benchmark and improve on existing performances,” Raghubir concludes.