Day in the life - Manjit Banga

Manjit is a Senior Consultant working in Toronto, Canada as part of our team advising the government body responsible for the delivery of major State infrastructure projects. He moved to Canada after spending a number of years with the business in the UK and whilst with us he has gained his RICS Chartership and qualified as a RICS Registered Expert Witness.

What is your typical day?

I was the quality assurance lead, managing the team that reviews the output specifications, identifying potential contractual and commercial drafting risks and advising on how they can be mitigated. Deadlines are often tight, so reviews were pre-planned as soon as drafts were expected to become available. I also worked as part of a drafting team and providing commercial and contractual advice to the technical department to ensure that documents are consistently drafted in line with the Project Agreement and are not ambiguous.

What are the challenges?

Every day is different, new challenges always keeps it interesting. As a Systech consultant you are expected to provide advice and solution options to the client. To do this effectively, I have to first investigate the issue and understand what has occurred and why, then formulate how to mitigate, remedy and provide a solution, or a number of options for consideration.

What training and support has Systech given you?

With Systech mentoring and guidance, I successfully passed my APC to become a member of the RICS. In preparation for my APC final assessment interview, Systech arranged mock interviews which proved invaluable.

Systech present on-line training seminars to encourage and support continued professional development.

What words of advice would you offer someone thinking of working for Systech?

If you can think outside the box and want to always be challenged to broaden your experience in various sectors of the construction industry, then Systech is for you.

What social activities have you been involved in?

Social gatherings are very important at Systech, it is an opportunity to meet and catch up with colleagues. In Canada social gatherings is good way to meet new colleagues.

What is the culture like?

Systech has a very open-door culture and the management always has time for you.

How has working for Systech helped you achieve your career goals?

As part of my RICS Expert Witness practical course training, I was cross examined by a barrister on my Expert Witness Report submission. The barrister on viewing my CV stated that I had, “impeccable credentials and an impressive list of project experience”.

I successfully completed the course to qualify as a RICS Registered Expert Witness.

What makes working for Systech different from the competition?

At Systech you have more exposure and gain more experience in different disciplines of the construction industry both in the UK and internationally. In my time with Systech I have worked on the London Underground, national rail networks, hospitals, highways, airports, bridges, tunnels and the London Olympic Stadium. I am now working in Canada on a rail project.

What has been your greatest achievement been working for Systech?

Successfully completing my RICS chartership and MSc along with becoming a RICS Registered Expert Witness.
At Systech my role has successfully transitioned internationally, I now apply my skills and expertise in Canada.

Tell us about a project where you have learnt a key lesson?

I worked on a project where there was a complete disconnect between commercial management and site management, with no clear correlation between monthly commercial reports and monthly site progress reports, to identify site progress, calculate cost to complete or capture project change. Subcontract management had completely failed, to the extent that monthly on account payments were being paid that could not be reconciled with works on site.

My analysis identified that whilst each department had its own commercial monthly reporting processes, they were not aligned.

I realised I had to act quickly to resolve the situation before it escalated completely out of control. Plan verses actual progress reporting linked to the baseline programme, rigorous change control and the introduction of an integrated cost reporting system were key as was the improved communication across the project.