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Transport and Infrastructure Engineering in Albania after Covid-19: Three questions with Ylli Gjoni/Seed Consulting

Interview: Three questions with Ylli Gjoni

 

CCIFA: Seed Consulting is an engineering consultancy company offering timeless and innovative services for your clients. As a team you value all your clients and understand the importance of every one of their projects. After the situation of COVID-19 pandemic in Albania, how do you think the market that Seed Consulting covers will fluctuate?

 

Y.Gjoni: Our activity is extended mainly in the domain of Transport Infrastructure Projects which are largely financed either by the Government Investment budget directly or through Loans from major IFI’s operating in the country. As this pandemic’s most severe effect in economy is the abrupt decline in consumption of all kind due to shut down of most part of the activities, obviously the immediate most affected sector is that of Public Investment as the Governments revenues fall sharply and they strive to maintain liquidity for the emergency situation in escalation. In our case most of the public procurement in our sector of activities were suspended in the otherwise ,most flourishing time of the year for this process. This has heavily affected our capacity to maintain the costs of having no work for as much as two months at least. However, as paradoxical as it may seem, although Public Investment in Infrastructure projects seems to be the first scapegoat to save money for an immediate crisis, it is also the only proven sector where additional financing may help quickly recover from deep recessions. After the first two months of shock it seems that the Government along with different Donors are planning to invest considerable amount of money in the Transport infrastructure projects and this fosters our hope that the effects of the Crises engendered by the pandemic may be attenuated quicker than we thought initially.

 

CCIFA: In times of crisis, staff management is very important. What are your ways to better lead your team during this difficult period?

Y.Gjoni: We’ve tried to maintain our staff numbers intact during these difficult months of inactivity and managed not to succumb to the panic of having to afford unbearable costs in an unknown situation where the future of business seemed uncertain. It is one of the most difficult challenges to find, train and keep motivated good professionals in a very volatile market such as ours. Hence our decision not to let go any of our engineers but rather  try to get their understanding for some reduction in pay with the hope that things will come back soon to normal. Obviously the company has absorbed the bulk load of the losses but we’re happy that we’ve found full understanding of the staff for their share of sacrifice.

CCIFA:  A message for CCI France-Albanie members?

Y.Gjoni: As we slowly move out of the danger zone of the pandemic intensity, we need to be mindful of the fact that we will have to live for some time with the uncertainty in this new normal. We’ve been all caught by surprise in the first wave but it needn’t be the same anymore. We know much more now and we should prepare to face any risks without rushing to extreme solutions.

Better Information- Better choices – Better results !

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