While recently speaking at a conference, I was asked why I have been at Steer for so long. This really prompted me to think and here is the answer I gave, albeit a little shorter!
I joined Steer in 2008, having had a successful stint at Mott MacDonald where I was responsible for managing a team of 12 transport modellers. My role was focused on developing a large stage multi-modal transport model and applying it to business case evaluations of major public-sector investments in roads and public transport networks in the West Midlands, UK. My core competency at that stage was transport modelling and transport economics.
The attraction of working at Steer was that it is a truly trans-national company (not just another company with international offices) and I wanted to apply my skills across multiple problems in multiple geographies. This is exactly what I was able to achieve at Steer. My first assignment was to update the strategic transport model for the Greater Dublin Area in Ireland and within three months of my new role I was developing traffic and revenue forecasts for a $1.5bn sea-link in Mumbai, India.
Since then I have worked on multiple projects in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Poland, Australia, France, Jordan, Qatar, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and more than half of these countries I have visited for work, gaining real insight into how transport in these countries works.
I have also worked on numerous projects within the UK, from continuing to support the transport authorities in the West Midlands to expand their metro network to supporting Transport for London on implementing road and public transport network enhancement projects for various opportunity areas like Battersea, Southall and Hayes.
The experience I have had at Steer goes beyond visiting various countries — I have been able to apply my core skills in such varied environments that it has challenged me through each project. Working at Steer has allowed me to grow professionally while continuing to hone my core modelling and economics skills. Honestly, it hasn’t felt like I’ve been in the same job for all these years.
The biggest challenge so far is the one that I am working on now – building the India business from scratch. As a company we had delivered around 10 projects in India between 2005-2015 on a fly-in/fly-out basis and I was involved in about half of those. I saw a real opportunity to move into the Indian market and in 2015, Steer opened an office in Delhi, which I have been busy managing ever since!
The company has shown its confidence in me and has enabled me to go from strength to strength to deliver the objectives that we set out for our India business. This opportunity has again pushed me to learn and grow. It has made me really think about what we as a company (and in turn me as an individual) add to the ecosystem that we are working in and how we can continue to push boundaries while being commercially sustainable. It is early days but so far so good!