“Success in business requires discipline, determination, dedication and hard work. To achieve success, get up and move around and make things happen for you.”
Adun Saraban possess two traits; diligence – the drive to work hard at whatever you’re focusing on – and persistence – the drive to continue working when things get tough steering companies to success.
Adun holding a Bachelor in Engineering (Civil) from Thailand and a Management Degree from the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), started his career in Italian- Thai Development Public Company Limited, Bangkok, Thailand as a Project Manager in 1983. “I was privileged to meet and work with some of the best construction Managers from ITAL Thai Development and across the globe with international clients and contractors of great repute.”
“Learning brings humility, humility develops capability, capability brings wealth and wealth brings righteousness which brings happiness”, he shares.
Today, Adun is the Managing Director of ITD Cementation India Limited (ITD Cem). As a part of largest Civil Engineering Construction Company in Asia, Italian-Thai Development Company Public Limited (ITD), it is one of the very few onstruction Companies in India today who could be qualified for any kind and size of projects in India. It is the only Multinational Construction Company listed in Stock Exchange in India since 1981. Previously, Adun was deputed as a Country Manager in India in 2004 and thereafter was elevated to the post of Managing Director. Under his strong leadership, Indian operations have executed large iconic construction projects like Airport, Maritime Structures, Mass Rapid Transport Systems (MRTS), Dams & Tunnels, Highways, Bridges & Flyovers and Specialist Foundation Engineering Works.
During the last few years ITD Cem experienced tough times, with declining growth in the infrastructure business in India. There were slowdowns in the awarding of projects, both from the Government as well as the private sector, with severe price war competition in the market that has put the company in a demanding position. However, Adun, through his stronger leadership role and highly trained management team, achieved considerable turnarounds that has led to the company’s turnover reaching its present level with double- digit percentage growth in revenue in recent years. ITD Cem secured
businesses over Rs. 5000 crores from various segments with a clear vision of reaching a topline growth of Rs. 4000 crores by 2017.
The construction industry is one of the most challenging industries as it involves large manpower of varying levels and intellect and employees daily face changes around their work activity and inter- personal relationships. To deal with this complexity of problems, the company has developed very robust and strong systems to achieve its objective. “We continually face fierce price competition,” remarks Adun. “For a Managing Director, it is very natural to control CAPEX and OPEX, and to cut costs. But as innovation is a driving force for our business growth, and delivering quality service is always our competitive advantage, I am also keenly aware of the need for ongoing investment, and have ensured that our expenditure on the backend infrastructure for supporting our various offerings has not been trimmed.”
Adun also stressed on continuous improvement quality of construction while establishing highest standards in worker safety and environment protection. The company has established Integrated Management System conforming to ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007. Its IMS is audited and certified by International Auditors such as Grant Thorton and DNV, etc.
Becoming a key member of the management team of a large construction conglomerate has always been Adun’s career goal. Having worked in the construction field for over 31 years, Adun has developed strong analytical skills that have enabled him to make correct business decisions, which he believes is essential for successful entrepreneurship and driving the growth of a company as top management. “Not only did I focus on the nuance of construction management, but also extended to the understanding of the business and its operations and the way to grow the company and maximize returns,” recalls Adun. “I began working with team heads to drive the growth, doing forecasts and evaluating the actual performance to adjust Group plans.” Importantly, too, Adun began developing interpersonal and people management skills.
“During my tenure as a Managing Director I realized the importance of building strong employee relationships. For any organization to thrive, they must continually cultivate knowledgeable and talented people and reward them accordingly, be considerate of people’s feelings and to treat people with respect, which in turn that respect is given back.”
As a professional company ITD Cem aims to grow its business to the complete satisfaction of all stakeholders including promoters, customers, partners, internal system, its people and communities around. To achieve the company’s objective, ITD Cem has adopted a Balance Score Card System (BSC) in which Key Performance Indicators are established and targeted as an annual budget from the project level up to Divisions and at the Corporate level. By this system of BSC and KPI it ensures that every level of management from bottom to the top are working toward the same direction and goal.
On joining ITD Cementation India Limited, Adun drew on his wealth of experience, including his people skills. He has readily adopted an open-door policy to make himself approachable and accessible to his staff. Adun believes that eagerness to learn is an essential quality that will lead him on the road to success, and has continued learning with ITD Cem. “Not only did I boost my technical and operational knowledge and become familiar with the compliance and regulations in India, I also enhanced my people management skills.” Adun found he needed to instill in the employees an innovative mindset by giving them a wider perspective of how the business operates.
Looking ahead, Adun Saraban’s mission is to expand ITD Cem become a worldwide renowned construction company in order to continue growing this company. Adun strongly believes in candidness, confidence, boundless energy, unending hope and an energizing vision for ITD Cementation India Limited and also for the promoters of Italian-Thai Development Public Company Limited.
Adun, during his career, has long realised that success depends on taking risks. He adds. “Passion for the mission: you need a pragmatic mind and strong analytical power to make a correct decision – and start working to achieve it.”