Charity Project: The Improvement of Tong Pua School
15 September 2023
IntES General Director Ronald De Vries takes a look back at 2020 and how this extraordinary year has shaped IntES and our clients.
What a year it has been!
For IntES, like most companies around the world, 2020 has had its challenges and a few setbacks, but overall the company performance this year has been good. I am so proud of our employees and how they have risen to and overcome the unique challenges of this year; meeting them with unfailing professionalism, ingenuity and positivity. It is their commendable attitude and team spirit among other things that I’m sure contributes to such low employee turnover. In fact, I am pleased to report we have even grown our team sizes this year! In what has been a turbulent year we have proven to be stable and committed to our clients and to each other even during these uncertain times.
The year of 2020 can be marked as our year of geographic expansions. First, we opened our office in Shanghai in January, then we received the order from Hanuman for the green field brewery in Cambodia and as the year progressed we started to work on the Feed Mill project in Ivory Coast. All the while our projects portfolio in Vietnam and The Netherlands continued to grow as well. We are pleased to have started working with our new client Intel in Vietnam this year, and of course we are delighted to continue working with our existing clients on new and ongoing projects including Mondelēz, Carlsberg, Nestle, P&G, and De Heus, to name but a few of our valued continuing clients.
In 2021 we are pleased to announce that our international expansions will be continuing with the formal office openings in Phnom Penh and Abidjan.
Of course, we unfortunately need to mention Covid-19. The pandemic has shown the world its vulnerabilities in terms of our health, our social life and our businesses. But whilst it didn’t hold us back in our development as a company, it has had big impact on our teams and on all of us as individuals. Since this has now become a much longer-term scenario than perhaps anyone originally imagined, it is great to see that our employees have still been engaging with each other in a different way. Our methods of socialising may have changed, but what remains is a strong connectivity between each other, which is so necessary in these difficult times.
The pandemic also meant we had to increase our efforts to keep our productivity up to the high level we expect from ourselves at IntES, and overcome 2020’s obstacles to still achieve our ambitions for the year. That is something we’ve managed well and reaffirmed our business stability even in this uncertain year.
Our teams’ response to the pandemic situation has been to apply the same ingenuity and problem-solving approach they bring to every engineering project. As such we optimised and adapted our workflow, introduced several successful new cloud-based design services including BIM360, Sharepoint and Vision Manager for Quality Systems, as well as making optimal use of our online communication tools via Microsoft Teams to really streamline and enhance our multi-national operations and communications in a time of travel restrictions. A great example of this which deserves a special mention is the successful implementation of Smart Glasses which facilitated effective on-site problem solving without travel. In addition, our clients’ needs were forefront in our minds as we introduced an offering of a new service in response to the COVID-19 threat to businesses.
We also had great clients this year, who never failed on their commitments, and equally adapted to the global situation well and worked seamlessly with our new communication systems. Although circumstances sometimes unfortunately forced our clients to have to delay certain projects and investment activities, we look forward to the time when these will be reinstated. And furthermore we look forward to the time (hopefully in the not too distant future) when we can meet in person again and not just on video calls!
This year has produced some interesting projects at IntES. I already briefly mentioned the Hanuman brewery project in Cambodia – a real landmark project in many ways. Covering a total area of 19.5 hectares, it encompasses not only the brewery but also a commercial zone, beer garden, office building and much more. It is expected to generate over 1500 jobs for the area. It is great to be working on something of such value not only to our client but to the wider community too. The project is over half way through now, and is right on schedule. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn page for further updates on this project in 2021.
We also began working with another new client, Intel, this year where we are working on a long term framework to execute a large number of projects in Vietnam.
Our Feed Mill project in Ivory Coast is another momentous project of 2020, not only is Ivory Coast an area of our new expansion for this year but in a time of travel restrictions we’ve managed the successful running of our EPCM services on this project across three continents – no mean feat!
We’ve also had repeat projects from our client Mondelez this year with projects in China and Vietnam. And also multiple engineering projects we’ve completed in the Netherlands in collaboration with our High Value Engineering Centre. I invite you to take a look at some of our 2020 projects detailed on our projects page of our website.
As passionate as we have been about our engineering projects in 2020, we are just as passionate about our people! Our IntES global family has had a difficult year for sure, but we also seen some remarkable achievements and milestones this year too. Five new babies were welcomed in 2020, congratulations to our happy new parents. We celebrated Women’s Day in Vietnam, and we are glad to see growing numbers of women in the engineering field as a whole in 2020. Our quarterly inter-office meetings assisted by video conferencing to see everyone have been a welcome and enjoyable calendar fixture. Additionally we are very proud of our team in Vietnam who took the initiative in connecting with the Blood Donation Center of Ho Chi Minh City to organize a company blood-drive event this year.
We welcomed many new team members to IntES this year as we continue to grow as a company, and made a number of new appointments at senior level. This includes Mr Giang as our Project Director in Cambodia, Mr Qin as our Managing Director in China, Michael Zhang as our Director of Projects in China and Luy Nguyen as our Quality Manager in Vietnam.
Training and career development remained fundamental to us in 2020, and we are very proud of Ly Nguyen who’s passion for this has led to the introduction of soft skills training for our up-and-coming IntES stars this year. Another major achievement; Nam Nguyen, one of our wonderful project managers has completed his PMP certification this year – well done Nam!
We are cautiously optimistic about the new year ahead in 2021 and we believe in the future. We are aware that circumstances can change quickly, and so we remain attentive to the world’s situation and continuously keep our radar on and contingency plans at the ready. This will apply not only to our own business activities but also for our clients’ investments. It is in this way, with the pro-active and positive attitude of our people, that we can be confident that better things are coming in 2021 and any challenges can be overcome.
We have big plans for the new year with new projects in the pipeline, new service offerings, and as mentioned our continued international expansions starting with our new offices opening in Cambodia and Ivory Coast.
By remaining client-centric, forward-thinking and agile to change, IntES is more than ready for 2021. We wish all the best for our teams, clients and their families around the world for this new year ahead.