17 January 2012
MBC SENDS DELEGATION TO
THE AFGHANISTAN SUMMIT – DUBAI
Hundreds of budgetary decision-makers from key government agencies, NGOs and businesses active in Afghanistan gathered in Dubai to network and discuss near-term opportunities, as well as medium- and long-range plans and opportunities. MBC sent a senior management delegation composed of General Manager, Haris Stanikzay; Country Program Manager, Dan Chavez, and Deputy Country Program, Dutch VanPool.
The delegation found robust interest in MBC and demand for the company’s services among delegations from every class of organizations represented at the Summit. This was true of government agencies focused on helping Afghan companies firm up long-term strategic business plans, but is was also true of major government, non-government, and private sector clients seeking reliable local contractors capable of managing the on-the-ground risks present throughout Afghanistan while also fully comprehending the realities of the international business community and construction industry. The air at the Summit was full of the thirst for Afghan construction companies ready to take a lead role in the adoption and integration of international standards and technologies to the construction field in Afghanistan.
This created an environment where MBC received a very warm reception, since the company’s CEO, Abdul Rahman Watanwal has empowered his country management team to attract and retain regional talent, not only seasoned construction professionals, but also recent graduates who represent the future of Afghanistan’s business community, recent having exposure to the latest construction management software and technologies. With Dan Chavez leading the way in opening doors to major decision-makers, the whole team exchanged concerns and hopes for Afghanistan, its construction industry, and explored ways in which MBC can help respond to Afghanistan’s nationwide concerns and opportunities, by raising the bar in the construction industry, while working internally to help its employees grow in their knowledge and skill sets as individual professionals, motivating them and building loyalty to a great employer that takes development of its team members seriously. These themes were explored in both formal discussions and in less formal gatherings over coffee and meals.
MBC predictably stood out as a 100% Afghan-owned construction company capable of bringing never-before-seen construction field technologies into country. There was uniform interest in MBC’s ability to compress construction project schedules, surprising prospective clients with our ability to shave days, weeks, and sometimes months off of schedules in a region of the world known for projects that rarely meet their planned completion dates.
Of course, construction clients expressed a native appreciation for this capability on the part of MBC, but it was also recognized among economic development agencies in search of Afghan firms capable of thinking about and acting upon Afghanistan’s long-term economic goals. MBC’s readiness and willingness to use engage these concerns were seen as indicators that the MBC thinks outside the cultural box, targeting international best practices and the growth of Afghanistan’s technical capacity across all disciplines and economic sectors.
So, while MBC impressed in ways that will lead to new work in 2012, it also impressed in ways that will open doors to MBC’s ability to interact with policy-oriented organizations seeking local partners in facilitating the creation of a strong position and a new place in the world for an Afghanistan rising from the ashes of three decades of war, and just beginning to write a new chapter in its own history, based on the increased self-determination being under a democratic paradigm.