Surbana International Consultants, one of the largest building and urbanisation consultants in Asia, announced that it will be setting up a branch office in Yangon as part of its expansion plans in Myanmar.
Surbana said the move is in response to growing demand for its services and part of Surbana’s regionalisation plans.
“In view of the pick-up in job opportunities, Surbana is opening a branch office in Yangon,” Surbana International Consultant’s Chief Executive Officer Pang Yee Ean said.
The branch office will house local full time Myanmar professional and support staff, overseen by Surbana’s Deputy General Manager for Myanmar Operations, Gareth Wong.
The multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy has several projects in Myanmar with the two largest being a residential development within the Dagon Seikkan Township with the Ministry of Construction which will yield 19,000 housing units on a 220 acre plot, and the Yangon Ecological Aquarium with the Myanmar Aquarium Company, a 20,000 square metre tourist development set against Kandawgyi Lake in Yangon.
U Khin Mg Thein, chief engineer Public Works, Ministry of Construction, said Surbana’s “expertise in building quality affordable housing quickly using new building methods is an important reason why we chose to work with them. We are happy with the progress so far and look forward to the completion of the project.”
Surbana is involved in masterplanning and architectural consultancy services, civil and structural and mechanical and electrical services for the housing project that started in February last year, while it’s the lead project manager and design consultant for the aquarium project that began in October 2013.
Yu Yu Win, from Myanmar Aquariums Company Ltd, said: “As Myanmar continues to open up, tourist attractions will form part of the overall development of the country.
“We are very happy to have Surbana as our lead project managers and design consultants as they … provide us with innovative design solutions to a very important tourism project for Myanmar.”
Surbana’s current projects in Myanmar are supported by Surbana’s team of professionals in Singapore and the company said it will invest in talents and “build a strong local team in Myanmar capable of providing end to end building and engineering solutions that will enhance the liveable space in Myanmar.”
The company said it plans to hire up to nine local staff to support immediate projects in the pipeline, and has plans for further growth and expansion in the next few years.
The staff will comprise professionals like engineers, architects, project managers, accountants, business development managers as well as technical support staff.
Pang said: “Surbana places a premium on developing its people – in Singapore and overseas. Our physical presence will be complemented by a deliberate effort to build local capabilities in the long run.”
During its launch, Surbana also announced a SGD$10,000 scholarship fund for locals who want to pursue a career in engineering and architecture. The scholarship will be made available to students in the local universities. Details of the scholarship will be announced soon, Surbana said.
Pang said Surbana also has an eye on future opportunities in Myanmar in diverse projects. “Surbana also has expertise in sectors, besides housing, in areas such as transport, institutional, commercial, aviation, marine and port infrastructure, which can serve Myanmar’s other development needs.
“We believe our flexible and practical approach in service delivery across the project life cycle further strengthens our value proposition as a preferred urban solutions provider.”
Surbana, whose core expertise is township planning, was involved in Singapore’s much-vaunted public housing programme. Singapore was awarded the 2010 UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour Award for providing one of Asia’s and the world’s greenest, cleanest and most socially conscious housing programmes.
Surbana covers the real estate value chain, including urban planning, design, engineering, project and construction management, coastal engineering, infrastructure, sustainable design technologies and city management. Its geographical coverage spans China, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Africa and the Middle East.