Lebanon is known to be a major player in the Levant, famous for it’s resilience when it comes to dreaming big and delivering triple A projects despite all challenges. Today, many world-class companies are established in Beirut and operate regularly on an International level as clients in the MENA region tend to prefer Lebanese creativity, adaptability and « savoir-faire ».
Managing the big teams working at this top level requires a special type of managers with unique skillsets, a motivated spirit always up for new challenges. Elie Saliba is one of the few who combine vision, leadership & pragmatism. He currently holds the position of Business Development Manager at BK Architects the leading company in Architecture & Luxury lifestyle Design based in downtown Beirut.
Founded by Charif Badih and Najib Kantar in 1998, later joined in 2006 by Ali Hamed, the company expanded it’s scope of work to both Interior Design and Architecture to devise sustainable 360 integrated design solutions.
Today, BK Architects conceptualizes and executes private residences projects, ranches, hotels, malls, urban and corporate spaces in more than 24 countries worldwide.
From Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to London, Miami, New York, Dubai, Bahrain, Lebanon, Kurdistan, Nigeria to name only a few, the projects designed by BK Architects and successfully managed by Elie distinctively fuse tradition with modernity to beautifully fit the diverse environments that host them.
Within it’s cycle of interviews focused on leadership & innovation, Kamsyn met with Elie Saliba at his return from KSA at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut for a quick conversation where he shared his valuable insights & rich experience in business development.
How important is a well-trained and motivated team in Managing big & International projects?
Delegation is a crucial part of the industry, thus it is imperative to have a well-trained team, able to calmly face the challenges of design and fill in the gaps while empowering the pipeline through parallel multitasking.
Whether it is during the design or execution phase, a strong team will definitely provide an edge on the competition, and a more sustainable outcome.
Motivation, on the other hand, comes through several factors: a well-studied distribution of tasks, where every individual feels a belonging and an acknowledgment for their contribution in the team efforts on a larger scale, as well as a constant encouragement of the administration for new ideas, flexibility and room to explore one’s creativity and self-satisfaction; something we like to call “the studio experience”
From your managerial perspective, what is the strength of Lebanese Architects and know-how in general?
Due to the multicultural nature of the country, the mixture of Middle Eastern heritage and occidental education, Lebanese architects have long proven themselves to be leaders in the industry within the Arab world.
The combination of skill, wit and ease of communication in addition to their ability to adapt to any type of architecture make the Lebanese Architects attractive to the regional markets and developers.
What is your best memory with BK until today?
My best memory with BK would have to be the day we won 3 awards for 3 separate projects in Dubai; that proud moment when your firm’s name is called as the winner is indescribable. The feeling that the efforts of everyone within the team during all this time had attained international recognition is the best moment in my 3 years at BK.
How does BK Architects stand apart and keep leading the way in a highly competitive environment?
One of the main power keys at BK Architects is that never-ending urge to evolve.
We strive to stay up to date with all the new designs, technologies, hiring new talent with different skills and backgrounds, working on developing and optimizing those skills and always visiting new emerging markets as potential working grounds and inspirations.
We proud ourselves in the multicultural resources we have that make a solid Design Studio: our team of more than 35 professionals all dedicated to their jobs and creativity. Moreover, we are always inspired by the cities we visit, the clients we meet and the project constraints.
Indeed, the highly competitive environment and clients timely requirements make our job more and more challenging, which we gladly embrace as it keeps pushing us to better and improve ourselves.
Follow Elie Saliba on Twitter @elie_saliba
BK Architects: http://www.badih-kantar.com
Kamsyn, May 2016