Five minutes with Donna Newman, Concordia DMCC
fmME delves below corporate strategy to understand what makes the region’s FM professionals tick
0.00 What does your role involve?
My role is a very stimulating and diverse one with overall responsibility of business development for Concordia and our range of services that are self-delivered throughout Dubai. Additionally, I also head up the company’s marketing team, having recently re-branded Concordia by giving it a new image, company profile, and website, as well as management of the advertising throughout the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Community and its publications.
1.30 What do you love most about your job?
Having been with Concordia for over a year out of my nine years in the UAE, I enjoy the diversity and challenges it brings. I have the opportunity to meet new people and cultures, and become involved in many exciting and cutting edge projects. Given my passion for positive change and thinking out of the box, Concordia gives me a way to make a positive impact on the clients we serve on a daily basis.
2.20 What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I find my role extremely rewarding. We are committed to continuous improvement in all our services, which can become challenging in current market conditions, whereby costs are accelerating and a large number of service providers are driving down prices, making any margin a challenge.
3.00 What has been your most memorable project so far?
I believe every project is memorable in its own way. Back in 2008, I relocated from the UK and found myself in 45°C-50°C heat in the middle of summer on a residential tower that was six months over its handover date without any air-conditioning, which certainly opened my eyes – but looking, back I consider it to be one of the best possible learning curves I could ever have had.
4.05 Where do you see the FM industry in five years?
The UAE is currently saturated with providers, which is driving prices down and is not good for the industry, or indeed the properties. Fortunately, I believe customers are becoming more informed within the rapidly maturing market and want to build long-term relationships with service providers they trust, which is good for us all. I also believe technology will continue to grow and play a bigger role in the market.
4.45 What do you like to do in your spare time?
My family and friends play a big part in my spare time. I also adore travelling and exploring the wonderful world we live in, understanding different cultures, and of course, food from around the world.