Innotech Services Ltd.

Since its inception in 1992, Barbados-based Innotech Services has been working in the Caribbean offering its range of diverse services, including design/build construction, property development and construction management. Thanks to this diverse expertise and flexibility, the company has been able to maintain a solid base of work even during the economic downturn. 

Construction Director Andrew Adam notes that the Barbados and Caribbean markets are six to 12 months behind the rest of the world, so the area isn’t seeing the market coming back to life yet as others are. Before the economy’s crash, Innotech was active in the tourism construction sector, building resorts and hotels.

“The market is really being driven by the economy at the moment,” he says. “If you take a cross section of what we were doing two years ago and compare it to today, two years ago 60 percent of our work was tourism and residential-based and 40 was government and industrial projects. Today, it’s a complete turnaround, and 60 percent of our work is industrial-type work and government. We’re going after more large-scale industrial and government work while we maintain our high-end residential portfolio.” 

That flexibility has proven to be a key factor in the company’s continuing success, and it bodes well for its future when the market rebounds. Although the company has had to trim some of its work force, Adam is optimistic about Innotech’s future. “It’s managed – up until now – to maintain most of our work force and retain our market share,” he says. “As the economy springs into action, we’ll be in the forefront of the market.”

In a recent interview with Construction Today, Adam and Innotech’s CEO Martin DaSilva talk about the state of the Caribbean market.

Construction Today: What are Innotech’s areas of expertise?

Andrew Adam: What we do is provide competitive construction pricing while maintaining a high-quality finished product. That’s what we always aspire to, and  we base most of our concentration on quality. 

Our work varies quite a lot; we work in many sectors of building construction – anything from residential to commercial, tourism, industrial and even some civil work. 

CT: What distinguishes the company’s work from that of competitors?

Martin DaSilva: We believe it’s our ability and flexibility to complete projects on time and within budget and of an excellent quality. That defines our very own brand. We’re also working with the private sector and government ministries on other new and exciting projects. Our approach to projects is in the relentless execution of quality and performance. 

CT: What is Innotech’s position within the industry in terms of size and market share?

MD: In terms of market share and size, we’re one of the leaders in the industry. Our company is always eager to execute its projects within time and budget, and through constant review of our performance, we continue to find more efficient ways to execute our projects. 

CT: What challenges do the company encounter? How do you meet them?

MD: They’ve largely been related to the economic recession in the past year or two. It has resulted in many of our projects under construction or those that were already awarded being met with restrictions in finances. 

Until the recovery of the market, we will continue to depend strongly on client referrals and recommendations, and that’s where we see a lot of our new projects come in. We’ve come more and more dependent on our performance as it pertains to recommendations and referrals, and I’d say at least half of new projects are repeat customers or referrals from previous clients. 

AA: I think there’s a level of flexibility that we encourage and harness. We assist our clients with design criteria and specifications, value-engineering and adding recommendations for rapid-build approaches to, increase the speed of the construction process and to reduce their cost. Over the past year in particular, we’ve been able to assist as in the financing of projects and other nontraditional requirements, so to speak. 

CT: How do you handle worker training / development?

AA: As a company, we actively encourage employees to gain further training. We’ll arrange to have several of our managers and construction supervisors and foremen on varying training courses. These courses include first-aid, asbestos, technical and safety training.

CT: Does the company have any links with the community in terms of charities or nonprofit organizations?

MD: Our directors and especially our previous CEO placed a great emphasis on community support. The company continues to assist our community in several ways. We’ve recently partnered with University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus to sponsor a master’s of science degree in construction management, which was recently launched in February.  

CT: Why is partnering with a local university important to Innotech?

AA: Traditionally, we wanted to give back to the community in such a way that it would propel the industry. It was seen as an investment in Barbados and its people, who are the future of the construction industry. Traditionally, in Barbados, people like myself who come from overseas offer support by giving experience that isn’t always locally available . 

It is expected that in time, through the support of educational tools like this that the island will produce its own young construction professionals who will ultimately rise through the chain with various companies and over the years into executive positions. This will really benefit the both local and regional communities.

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