UP CLOSE … with Julio Elizabeth, Quantity Surveyor at Shreeji Construction Pty LTD of the Shreeji Group |15 October 2019
‘Know what you want in life and work hard to achieve it’
By Marie-Anne Lepathy
With no working experience whatsoever, today he considers himself very lucky to have secured a job in a private construction company nine years ago just after completing his two-year diploma in construction course at the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT).
He is Julio Elizabeth, a 28-year-old quantity surveyor at the Shreeji Construction Pty LTD of the Shreeji Group of companies.
Seychelles NATION met the determined and serious young Seychellois a few days after the opening last month of the Shreeji business and commercial complex KB Emporium at Providence. Very enthusiastic about his job and the opportunities for development that he has received from the private construction company, Julio, who considers himself an exemplary Seychellois who has learned from scratch and turn all challenges into opportunities to better himself, was eager to share his experience.
The sixth of nine siblings – four sisters and four brothers – Julio affirmed that since very young he was a well organised person.
Like any ordinary Seychellois child, he studied at primary level and this was in his home district of Takamaka following which he continued his secondary education at Anse Royale before enrolling on a course in construction at the SIT. On completion in 2009, he had started to study construction at advanced level while job hunting at the same time and it was then that he was informed by one of his lecturers that the Shreeji Group was looking to recruit an assistant quantity surveyor urgently for its construction company.
“I went for the interview somewhat unsure of its outcome as I had no work experience and I told that to the managing director, Keshra V. Bhudia. But he was very enthusiastic and keen to make me part of his team and teach me all the basics I needed to know to do a good job. I was really encouraged by his approach and I promised myself that I will make the most of this great opportunity so I focused on the job while I commit myself to continue learning more and more along the road of this new journey,” Julio said.
“In life you must know what you want, get your priorities right, remain focus and work hard to achieve what you want,” Julio said, adding that challenges will abound but knowing how to overcome them is important.
Today, nine years later, Julio said he cannot believe that already he has spent all these years in the same company and doing what he loves and enjoys.
“I recall that I had only around three months to learn from the person whom l was to replace. I was really anxious as the boss had told me that I was going to be the one in charge of the unit and the work when the lady I was understudying leaves. So in a way I had no other options but to make sure I deliver and prove that I can be relied on. Therefore, I took the challenge head on and I was determined from the start to remain focus,” Julio said, remembering the early months in the job.
“I am really grateful for the opportunity I received and for the exposure I’ve had which has allowed me not only to learn but to develop my potential,” Julio remarked.
“I am really proud that today I have the confidence, the ability and experience required to make quick decisions without any doubt and fear,” he added.
Julio expressed heartfelt gratitude to Mr Bhudia for believing in him and his potentials and for not casting him aside because of his lack of experience but instead giving him this great opportunity to develop, grow and blossom.
In 2015 the young man was awarded the national employee of the year award in construction for his devotion and achievements.
The Shreeji Group of Companies
The company which was founded and set up here in 1996 by Keshra V. Bhudia, a passionate entrepreneur, has over the years grown and diversified its business activities in various fields namely building & civil engineering construction, building of residential, commercial and tourism related buildings, trading in hardware, building materials & household appliances, retailing & wholesaling of vegetarian food and other commodities, furniture and furnishings… to name but a few. These are through different other related companies like Laxmi Trading, Nayopi Restaurant & Business Centre, Gopi, Ani Décor… Recently the Shreeji Group opened a multi- storey business and commercial centre, the KB Emporium, at Providence where its offices are also based.
Since its establishment, the company has put the development, empowerment and advancement of its human resource at the centre of its development and success. As it continues to grow and diversify its business activities, it is also striving to be an employer of choice to people of all backgrounds by providing equal employment and development opportunities to all.
Today around 400 employees form part of the Shreeji Group servicing its group of companies.
Any person interested to build a career with the company can visit its website and send an application for specific positions being advertised at any specific time or any person interested in Shreeji Group as their potential employer, may also apply online at any time.
Opportunities may arise for: internships, fresh graduates, and experienced professionals from various disciplines.
In his conversation with Seychelles NATION Julio confirmed the above information about the company.
His job in the construction unit
The young man enthusiastically detailed what his job entails and this include calculating the quantity of material required and costs for different project designs that clients submit before providing them with their quotations, meet with them to discuss various components of their projects, visit the different construction sites, carry out monitoring to assess and discuss progress with the team of three project managers to ensure timely completion of work, maintain the company’s cash flow, among several other related duties.
“I have to ensure that work on the different projects are carried out as per the contracts and that any constraints identified as impeding progress are addressed quickly,” Julio pointed out.
A devoted, tireless and result-driven employee, Julio explained that his working hours vary but most often he considers the completion of a project on time as the most important thing in the company.
“When there is work that needs to be completed within a deadline, my focus is to ensure there is no delay because the satisfaction of our clients and the continued advancement of the company is my biggest priority,” Julio stressed.
He believes that there is space for other Seychellois just like him because, growing with the company, he can confidently say that it focuses mainly on recruiting Seychellois first and foremost in all its different fields of activities.
“As the company continues to expand and diversify its business activities, more job opportunities are created for any young Seychellois who is interested and want to work in the company,” Julio said.
With regard to his remuneration package, Julio said he is satisfied and also appreciates the fact that the company puts at his disposal different facilities which of course he said he uses responsibly.
He reaffirmed with conviction, based on his own personal experience, that the company gives due consideration to the development and promotion of its human resource, something that has been previously confirmed.
Experience, future plans
“As for me when I look back, I can proudly say that what I have achieved is the result of hard work, determination, perseverance, love for what I do and the desire to succeed in whatever I do. Each time a project is completed, I am proud as I see myself in it,” Julio stated confidently.
He admitted though that the journey was not an easy one and the road was not always paved with roses.
“But looking back I am really happy and proud of myself because all along I have overcome all challenges that came my way, turning them into opportunities as I am a very positive and optimistic person and I learn from my mistakes and this strengthens me as an individual as well as boost my self-confidence. The nine years have been a true learning curve for me,” said Julio.
He pointed out that his greatest desire today is to be able to resume and complete his studies at advanced diploma level, something which he started several years ago just before joining the company but decided to put on hold to focus on his job.
“But now I can confidently say that I am ready, well equipped in terms of work experience and know-how and I will be able to balance work and studies in order to have the good grades that I am aiming for, Julio affirmed.
Family life, leisure activities
When not at work Julio, who has his own house, said he loves to do things to improve and enhance the outside environment of his home.
“I do some planting and trimming every now and then, keeping everything tidy and beautiful while leaving everything having to do with the inside of the house to my partner,” said the young man who does not have any children yet.
As a form of relaxation, he is learning to play the guitar.
“I believe it is a way to relax your mind and do away with the daily stress of work,” Julio concluded.