Business leadership has undergone significant transformations in recent years, marked by unprecedented uncertainties and challenges. Leaders must navigate uncharted territories in this rapidly changing landscape and provide guidance, stability, and confidence during trying times. The demands on leaders have evolved, emphasizing the importance of ethical practices, inclusivity, and sustainability. Adapting to these shifting paradigms requires leaders to stay well-informed about industry trends, embrace agility and open-mindedness, seek diverse perspectives, commit to lifelong learning, and harness technology to enhance decision-making and collaboration. Furthermore, building a formidable team based on trust, transparency, adaptability, and innovation is crucial to staying ahead of the competition.
One leader who stands out for his commitment to excellence and impact on the construction industry is Nishad Azeem, Founder and CEO of Coastal Qatar, a multifaceted company operating across various sectors. With his extensive expertise and passion for his work, Nishad embodies the essence of a distinguished leader who consistently raises the bar in this dynamic environment.
Nishad’s journey in manufacturing took a defining turn when he recognized a significant gap in the industry just before the Qatar FIFA 2022. This pivotal revelation became a watershed moment in his career, propelling him to become a transformational leader in the construction business. Driven by his firm values and innovative mindset, Nishad emerged as a pioneering force dedicated to driving positive change and transforming the landscape of his chosen industry.
Drawing upon his deep knowledge and experience, Nishad has successfully spearheaded numerous groundbreaking initiatives, revolutionizing traditional construction practices and introducing innovative approaches. His visionary leadership has not only propelled Coastal Qatar to new heights but has also inspired a paradigm shift within the industry itself.
Pursuit of Excellence: Nishad’s Journey as a Construction Engineering Specialist
Nishad began a remarkable career as a construction engineer in Kuwait’s prestigious oil and gas business after completing his Civil Engineering degree. Concurrently, he pursued and completed his Master of Engineering degree from Kuwait University, displaying his constant commitment to professional development while actively contributing to his area.
Following this notable accomplishment, Nishad accepted the Project Management Consultant (PMC) position at Parsons Engineers, where he worked on critical projects for the Kuwait Oil Company. In addition, he worked with Kuwait Dynamics, offering his knowledge to different programs for the US Army.
Nishad’s uncompromising dedication to his trade, driven by his tireless quest for greatness, prompted him to travel to Qatar, where he joined Occidental Petroleum. He held critical positions inside this prestigious firm, including cost engineer, contracts engineer, and head of project controls. His exceptional contributions substantially impacted project outcomes and improved operational efficiency.
In 2004, Nishad took over Coastal Qatar, a construction startup, and led it to success through excellent leadership and strategic direction. He later pursued further education, earning an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from HEC Paris and completing the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program (OPM).
Coastal Qatar: Embracing Engineering Challenges with Ethical Excellence
Coastal Qatar operates as an integrated engineering specialist, following its core values. Instead of mission and vision statements, the company focuses on its purpose and business conduct.
The objective of the Coastal brand is to be an Integrated Engineering Specialist with an emphasis on embracing engineering challenges, simplifying complex procedures, and instilling excitement in all aspects of their work. The Coastal Way is a culture continually pushing the boundaries of engineering innovation while maintaining a consistent commitment to safety, schedule, and quality, providing excellence to the Qatari and adjacent regions’ construction and engineering landscapes.
Coastal Qatar has a diverse, open, and free culture that inspires trust. They believe in exceeding expectations by doing things right the first time, every time. Moreover, they strive for ethical growth without overpromising or under-delivering.
Let’s examine the values that Coastal adheres to:
- Ongoing Innovation and Professionalism
- Meticulous Planning Driven by Process
- High Levels of Domain Knowledge and Expertise
- Acute Transparency and Valuing Relationships
Leading the Industry with Comprehensive Services and Proactive Vision
Coastal Qatar focuses on the construction industry and maintains a competitive edge by adapting proactively to the shifting industry landscape. They provide unique integrated services with high barriers to entry for competitors.
Unlike most of its competitors, Coastal Qatar’s integrated structure allows it to provide most of its services in-house. The company operates various divisions, including Construction, Steel Fabrication, Engineering, Galvanizing, Manufacturing (Stadium seats, lamp poles, landscape furniture, lockers & cubicles, directional signages, Smart poles, Smart toilets & showers, etc.), Trading, and Project Support Services.
A Visionary CEO Driving Expansion and Excellence
According to Nishad, proactivity is crucial for leaders in today’s competitive business world. Being proactive helps leaders overcome unforeseen obstacles and disruptions, seize opportunities, react to shifts, and manage difficulties, creating a growth-friendly environment.
As the CEO, Nishad is responsible for Coastal Qatar’s expansion and growth strategy. His efforts have earned widespread recognition, evidenced by numerous prestigious awards. These include the Arch of Europe Award in 2014, the Bizz Award in 2015 and 2017, the Bizz Award for Inspirational Company in 2017, and the Middle East Business Excellence Award in 2023. In addition Coastal has been certified a ‘Great Place to Work.’ Under Nishad’s leadership, Coastal Qatar manufactured stadium seats for six of Qatar’s new FIFA 2022 stadiums, a significant milestone showcasing their industry expertise.
Furthermore, with Nishad at the helm, Coastal is the country’s only manufacturer of lighting poles and crash barriers. Due to their unique position, they have significantly contributed to the construction of famous projects in Qatar, including the airport, national museum, FIFA stadiums, and metro.
When asked about his hobbies and interests and how he balances them with his professional life, Nishad shared, “One of my passions is riding my Harley Davidson motorcycle. We have a motorcycle club where we ride within the GCC and Europe. I love to travel and experience different cultures. I’m a curious soul and love to keep myself challenged through exploration and learning.”
Expert Advice for Aspiring Business Tycoons
Nishad offers valuable advice to aspiring individuals who aim to become successful business leaders by implementing their innovative and determined business ideas. According to him, budding business leaders should start by asking themselves two crucial questions in today’s ever-changing business landscape:
1. How relevant is your business in the current times?
2. How resilient is your business in overcoming future challenges?
Additionally, Nishad emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with competent and trustworthy individuals. He believes that building a successful business starts with building a strong team. Finding the right people, whether from within or outside and nurturing their potential through molding and challenging them is a crucial step towards forming the ideal team.
Furthermore, Nishad highlights the significance of practicing essential leadership traits. These include continuous learning, cultivating strong relationships, adopting a growth mindset, leading with integrity, developing effective communication skills, embracing innovation, fostering emotional intelligence, taking calculated risks, prioritizing customer satisfaction, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Also Read: The 10 Prominent Business Leaders, 2023.