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One who firmly believes that an engineer should know all the elements of engineering, Sooraj Nair, Head of Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) carries with him the perfect package of design and construction experience that he has garnered over two decades in his career.
Born in Kerala, a state lovingly known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Sooraj was raised in the business capital of India, Mumbai. Coming from a family of academicians including engineers, Sooraj began pursuing his interest in mechanical engineering from his college days. The urge of being financially independent at that time led him join ETA Engineering Private Limited, an air conditioning contracting firm in Mumbai. “I was always inclined to learn more about the science and art of design. While working for ETA, I had an opportunity to choose to either be a site engineer or a planning and design engineer. Opting for the latter, I started learning the various aspects of design.” In 2002, Sooraj progressed from design engineer in a contracting firm to a consulting engineer with Eskayem Consulting Engineers in Mumbai. It was here that he learnt the mechanical, electrical and plumbing facets of design.
The desire to purchase his own“nest” in Mumbai prompted Sooraj to fly overseas to join Dubai’s Bilt Middle East in 2007 as a MEP site manager. “I took the challenge to work at the construction site as a MEP manager in Dubai. It was an altogether different experience for me as previously I was mostly based in design offices. While in Dubai, I moved to work on the sites and learnt more. These experiences opened another world of knowledge for me to integrate buildable designs.” It was here that he got an opportunity to work as the MEP site manager for J W Marriott Marquis Dubai, which according to Guinness Book of World Records is the world’s tallest hotel. Sooraj spearheaded the MEP activities for the project and was complimented for delivering it ahead of schedule.
After spending four years in Dubai, Sooraj came back to India and worked for Spectral and then as Associate Director for AECOM’s MEP division, before joining Ramboll in 2013. Ramboll at that time was planning to introduce its domestic MEP unit under the Buildings department in India. Sooraj was instrumental in establishing the unit in October of that year. He has been successful in developing a team of 26 MEP experts, each possessing varied experience and international exposure. Sooraj uses a unique talent management approach to ensure that each team member acts as a project coordinator for one project or the other. “In this manner, we are giving shape to the future leaders of Ramboll.”
Sooraj has worked on some of the most prominent and iconic construction projects during his entire career. He has acted as the Project Director for the Reliance Convention Centre, a state-of-the-art exhibition centre in Mumbai. His project portfolio also includes Goa’s W Resort, one of the two luxury hotel operated by Starwood Group. “Projects like this will certainly strengthen Ramboll’s position in the hospitality sector.” He was also a part of the team developing one of India’s first green buildings in Mumbai.
Looking forward to a “long inning” with Ramboll, Sooraj wants to see the company’s MEP division grow in leaps and bounds. He finds the work environment at Ramboll good and supportive. “It allows you to perform at your best.” The opportunity to work on innovative projects and learn new things is what makes Ramboll stand out, feels Sooraj. He is of the firm opinion that what differentiates Ramboll in the market is its constant urge to improve and better serve its clients and the society.
With its sweeping, curving aspect, this mixed-use project offers prime retail, commercial and residential space on Business Bay. Comprising a 56-storey commercial tower, a 16-storey residential block and a 7,000sqm retail space, this complex comes together to create an ultra-modern gateway to Business Bay.
Multidisciplinary award-winning project. Ramboll completed the Shining Towers project in 2012. The project comprises two towers of 33 and 42 storeys respectively, and won the GCC tower of the year at the 2010 Construction Week awards.
Slanted at 6 degrees from the vertical, The Pad’s design is based on the iPod. Billed as the world’s first ‘cybertecture’ building, with its design inspired by the Apple iPod, The Pad is a twenty-three storey residential development in Dubai’s Business Bay.
This Zaha Hadid design has tested our engineers’ skills unlike any other. In the constant search for original designs that truly push the limits, many building projects in the Middle East are in fact driving innovation in engineering design.
Pragmatic fire engineering affecting the layout of these exciting towers. Three twisting towers, connected by a large podium, will provide luxury accommodation in the heart of Bahrain’s capital. Ramboll was involved up to the end of the schematic stage negotiating alternate solutions with the Bahrain Civil Defence authorities.
Dragon Mart is the largest trading hub for Chinese products outside mainland China.
A 1.25km long shopping complex with a total built-up area of 158,000sqm in International City, Dubai, Dragon Mart is the largest wholesale Chinese market outside of mainland China.