Shivam Dheir is a development manager on a mission - to be the change he wants to see in Birmingham, the city he lives in, and loves. With boundless ambition and growing real estate knowledge, Shivam’s ambition is to play his part in the creation of 21st century Britain - managing the successful delivery of transformative, mixed-use development projects, re-defining city centre living, creating a lasting legacy across the country.
- How did you get into what you do?
So I joined Mace as a graduate in 2019, working in defence and security – at that point we were working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office delivering embassies across the world. During Covid, our workload shifted emphasis and we needed to redefine the way we worked. So it was at that point that I moved onto a consultancy project, before moving into a graduate role in Develop in late 2020.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
There are so many aspects of my work that I enjoy whilst managing developments – from viability modelling, scheme optimisation and market insight, to the commercial elements of being a developer.
That’s all about development risk management, and the relationships you have with senior people in the business on high profile projects – knowing who to speak to and how to source the information you need. That sense of progress and making a difference through working collaboratively with others is really rewarding.
- How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?
In development, delivering safer, better, inclusive and more sustainable places, demonstrates our commitment to positive economic, environmental and social outcomes. There are still so many places around the UK that can be transformed – there’s a lot to do but this is the element of our work at Mace that I’m most proud and am excited to do more of.
- What's been your proudest achievement at Mace so far?
- There’s been a number of significant achievements that stand out to me - from completing the Mace Graduate Scheme to transitioning into Mace Develop and navigating through a difficult sales and disposal period during the Covid-19 pandemic at our Greenwich Square development. Delivery of our sales strategy, seeing our new homes sell successfully was particularly rewarding given the challenges we faced during the peak of the pandemic.
- What advice would you give someone looking to get into what you do?
Given the current employment market and competition at graduate level, apprenticeships are incredibly valuable and can be a real fast track into on-the-job learning and a successful career in the built environment. It’s something I would definitely have considered, especially having seen the opportunities available here at Mace. To get into project management in construction, I would advise people to be passionate about the built environment - if you come across a building that interests you, research it and learn about it. The industry is calling out for fresh ideas on how we can become more sustainable and productive, especially in this era of digital transformation. From a personal development perspective, build resilience and be accountable to yourself in achieving your goals, set high standards and consistently endeavour to meet and exceed them.
- Why Mace?
It’s actually an unusual story. I graduated from Leeds with a Masters in Civil Engineering before joining Severn Trent Water. But I really wanted to develop my career with a London-based organisation, that had both a national and a global reach on projects that were better suited to my education.
I live in Birmingham and New Street Station (and above it Grand Central shopping centre) were both delivered by Mace, and in terms of redevelopment projects, are up there with the best I’d ever seen – this made Mace a business I wanted to be a part of.
- What motivates you every day?
- As developers, we have the opportunity to make the decisions that make places safer, more inclusive, and accessible for all people from all backgrounds. The ‘power’ is in our hands - so we’re in the driving seat to deliver real change. So delivering the best outcome for both the business and the wider community is extremely motivating. I look forward to the future achievements to come - and hope there will be lots of these as grow through my career!
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
Strong commercial awareness, knowing the numbers but also being entrepreneurial; being creative to address different needs and redefine the boundaries of ambition. Communication skills help massively with negotiations on a range of issues, tailoring your approach for the clients or stakeholders that you’re dealing with to help reach our shared goals. Integrity is really important too, as a foundation for building trust; whether that’s from funders trusting you with a financial investment or from people living and working where we develop, people who rely on you to deliver what’s right for their community.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
- I’ve secured a place to take a Masters in Real Estate at Henley (part of the University of Reading) in September, and so I’ll be doing that in my own time over the next two years. It’s the ‘If I’d known then, what I know now’ Masters which will help me get to where I want to be in terms managing transformative, large-scale, mixed-use projects. In future, I’d like to manage this type of project in Birmingham so that I can leave a lasting legacy on my hometown.
“As developers, we have the opportunity to make the decisions that make places safer, more inclusive, and accessible for all people from all backgrounds. The ‘power’ is in our hands - we’re in the driving seat to deliver real change.”