Meet our cost estimator... Khaysam Barakat

8th Mar 2024

Maintaining the high standards we set ourselves requires recruiting some of the most experienced global talent from the world of design, build, construction and project management.

Each month, we spotlight one of our colleagues so you can learn a little more about their role, and what drives their work with us… Next up, it’s Khaysam.

1. Hello Khaysam! Firstly, tell us what inspired you to join the Agilité team. 

Hello! I was inspired to join Agilité after learning of its reputation for excellence in the interior fitout industry. I was drawn to the opportunity to be part of a team that consistently delivers high quality projects in various sectors, but perhaps most importantly, the company’s commitment to professionalism and sustainability aligns perfectly with my own values and career aspirations.

2. Can you share a little bit about what you do, and the role you play in the delivery of Agilité's projects? 

Certainly! As a cost estimator, my primary responsibility is to evaluate offers and prepare financial estimates and budgets for tender submissions. This involves working closely with the local team in Germany, and the extended team in other locations, to ensure that our proposals are both accurate and competitive.

3. How would you describe our organisation and the work we do to someone who had never heard of Agilité before? 

We provide solutions that are customised to each client’s requirement, offering both design, build and traditional fitout services. And, whether it is a trendy retail store, a vibrant restaurant or a modern office space, our work reflects our dedication to quality craftsmanship and client satisfaction.

4. What has been your favourite Agilité project to work on, to-date? 

Each project brings its own unique challenges and opportunities, allowing me to continuously expand my skills and expertise. I can’t specify one favourite project because I appreciate specific elements from each one, and I find fulfilment in the sheer variety of experiences and the chance to contribute to the transformation of diverse spaces across Europe.

5. In your opinion, what makes Agilité stand out from the crowd? And how do you put your own stamp on that distinction? 

I believe Agilité stands out from the crowd due to its strong commitment to charitable initiatives, as well as innovative practices that lead to a sustainable built environment.

Personally, I strive to incorporate theses values into my work by ensuring they are integrated into the cost estimation process. This includes evaluating materials and construction methods that minimise environmental impact while still meeting project requirements.

6. Describe a defining moment in your career, and how it has shaped the work you do at Agilité. 

A defining moment in my career was becoming a certified project manager in 2017. This experience has served as a foundational pillar that significantly shapes the work I do today. This enables me to contribute proactively during the initial stages of project development, ensuring that our proposals are well structured and aligned with our clients’ needs and goals.

7. If a dream client were to call, who would it be and why? (please name a specific brand or organisation) 

It would be a forward-thinking automobile manufacturer, exclusively investing in electric vehicles, or perhaps a company specialising in recycling building materials. Partnering with clients that contribute to the advancement of sustainable mobility and the circular economy would be incredibly exciting and fulfilling.

8. What one piece of advice would you give to a client looking to expand into a new country, drawing from your experiences and expertise? 

Conduct thorough research on the local market dynamics, regulations and cultural preferences. A successful expansion requires a deep understanding of how design trends, construction standards and client expectations vary across different regions.

It is crucial to tailor your approach to fit the specific context of the new country, whether it is adapting designs to local aesthetics, or navigating regulatory requirements for construction permits.

Investing in comprehensive market analysis by establishing strong partnerships with local suppliers, contractors and designers can streamline project execution and ensure smooth communication throughout the process leading to a successful delivery in new countries.

9. What excites you most about the future of Agilité? How do you see your role contributing to this vision? 

What excites me the most about the future of the company is its recent achievement of becoming a B Corp Certified! This milestone showcases our ongoing dedication to sustainable practices and social responsibility, setting us apart as a leader in the industry. It is fantastic to be the change we want to see!

10. In what ways do you envision Agilité continuing to lead the way in sustainable practices within the construction industry? How do you personally align with Agilité's sustainability values? 

We can continue to lead by continuing to integrate eco-friendly solutions. I align with these values by advocating for sustainable solution and materials. While initially these can seem costly, such practices yield long-term benefits, for the client, the occupants of the space and whole planet.

Convincing clients to prioritise sustainability over cheaper materials remains a challenge, but it is crucial for environmental preservation and our future wellbeing.

11. What industry changes or trends do you think will have the biggest impact on our sector over the coming year? 

I foresee the growing influence of 3D printing and robotics in our sector. These technologies promise to streamline processes and boost efficiency. I also expect faster production of complex components, whilst robotics on-site will assist workers in various tasks — from lifting heavy material to precision work.

12. And finally, when you’re not at work, where are we most likely to find you? 

When I’m not at work, you will probably find me braving the chilly German winter for a refreshing stroll outdoors!

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