Head of Cost Consultancy, MMQSMace
Consultancy, Sub-Saharan Africa
Harry's been with the business since 2011 and has recently led the merger of our South African cost consultancy business with local business MMQS, to form MMQSMace. While at school, Harry thought he was destined for a legal career, but a gap year in the UK turned him to construction and quantity surveying.
- What roles have you had at Mace?
My first role was to programme manage a national roll-out of retail branches in South Africa.
Most recently I've led the merger of our cost consultancy business here with MMQS, a local South African firm, and I'm now Head of Cost Consultancy for the merged MMQSMace business.
- How did you get into what you do?
- During my final years at high school I was convinced that I wanted to become a lawyer. I took a gap year and worked in the UK before I started studying. During that time I learned more about the construction industry through a friend, in particular quantity surveying. I instantly decided it was a better path for me. When I returned to South Africa I immediately enrolled in a BSc quantity surveying course.
- What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?
- The diversity – in clients, projects and the people I work with. South Africa is a very diverse country but the difference with Mace is that the company allows you to fully explore any and all opportunities due to its entrepreneurial nature.
“South Africa is a very diverse country but the difference with Mace allows you to fully explore any and all opportunities due to its entrepreneurial nature.”
- What’s your proudest achievement at Mace?
- It's difficult to choose, but I will say that the recent merger with MMQS is something I have been part of since day one and I feel very proud about what we have achieved so far; I’m passionate about the relationship and its future. It has definitely been one of my most favourite relationships to develop in my working career. I believe in MMQSMace - we are going to experience many proud moments and achievements.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- Give it your best, in each and every situation you find yourself in. Looking back at my first few years of working, I thought I had made the biggest mistake with my career choice and was seconded to difficult clients with hardly any support from my then employer. After that, and even to this day, I often find myself drawing from some of the experiences and lessons I learned during that time.
- What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?
The big opportunities will be in major projects, especially in infrastructure. However, the current and ongoing changes in the political environment in South Africa will bring uncertainty around some of the major projects we are targeting.
The widely expected improvement in commodity prices will have a positive effect on activity in mining and all associated sectors. We are well positioned with some of the major mining and transport clients, and will need to continue delivering top quality services to ensure we are one of the preferred consultants when activity starts increasing in these sectors. This will keep us very busy for the next three to five years.