Maciej Runkiewicz, President of Kajima Poland Kajima Poland: Diligence is our greatest asset
Kajima Poland is part of Kajima Corporation – a world leader in the construction industry, however, it also has its own identity. What distinguishes you from other companies specializing in general contracting?
I think it is, above all, greater diligence. This characteristic of ours is certainly influenced by the Japanese provenance of the company. An example of this care is a larger team of engineers assigned to a single project (execution) than in many other contractors. We have adopted such a model, because we care about careful planning of activities, designing a facility and then directly supervising the timeliness and the quality of the works.
Our advantage is also the skilful combination of a flat structure distinctive for a medium-sized organization (thanks to which we ensure frequent and direct contact with the client and a fast response) with the stability and credibility of a large international corporation.
You took over the position of Deputy General Manager in Kajima at the age of thirty. Were you not afraid of such a big responsibility at such a young age?
I wasn’t, because Kajima started in Poland as a small company and grew organically. Of course, I have made and still make many mistakes, however, I have always tried to learn from them.
The construction of large facilities is a real thrill-seeking element. This dynamic atmosphere attracts many engineers. You have also had contact with it at the beginning of your career. Have you ever regretted moving to an office?
I like variety, the mixed work system suits me. I spend some time in our Warsaw headquarters in Aleje Jerozolimskie, but I also visit our construction sites. Of course, I cannot be involved in any construction site from the beginning to the end. However, I get more involved in those situations where my support, as the President of the company and an engineer, is necessary. Then I can again feel the rush and tension that are inherent in construction sites.
What changes have you made at Kajima Poland with your appointment as the Vice President in 2010 and then the President in 2019?
The changes I have been making are driven by the dynamic growth of the company, not by my own characteristics. We are investing in more efficient ways to manage and administer the company, as well as in employee development. In addition, we plan to implement modern IT tools for construction, useful in the design and construction process.
Running a business requires resilience to possible failures. Of all the situations you have had to face, which would you name as the most difficult?
Every day there are stressful or even frustrating moments. However, the most difficult situations for me are those involving a threat to health or life on the construction site.
What motivates you to act and helps you manage such a large organization?
I must admit that I have a strong emotional bond with Kajima Poland. This is the factor that motivates me most at work. This attachment is shared by many employees of our company, especially those who remember our humble beginnings in Poland.
It is said that the economic slump has a delayed effect on the construction sector. How would you assess the damage caused by the pandemic as far as the construction industry is concerned? What has changed and what changes are still to come?
In the beginning, the pandemic was mainly felt through isolated incidents of workers on specific construction sites or at the suppliers. At first, these cases destabilized the construction process. However, we have learned to manage such situations – mainly by tightening preventive measures and changing the organization of construction sites – and to minimize the risk of slowing down constructions.
Today, it is clear that the investment profile of the large players in the real estate market is changing. There is a shift towards logistics and industrial construction at the expense of office, hotel and commercial construction. This is understandable if we look at, for example, changes in the so-called shopping behaviour of Poles – or Europeans more broadly – resulting from their fear of disease as well as restrictions in movement maintained by the governments of individual countries. If these phenomena stay with us for a longer time, they will permanently change our habits and, consequently, the nature of investments.
The beginning of the year is always a time for making plans and new visions. What are your strategic goals for the coming months?
Our main goal is to complete large construction projects. We hope that in the near future they will become our flagship projects. The second goal is to sign favourable contracts to ensure work for the near future. We want 2021 to be as good as or better than the last year.
- Cuisine: I like variety. I usually choose Polish, Japanese, Italian or Tex-Mex cuisine.
- Book: I prefer to mention an author. It’s Michał Heller who in his texts combines issues of theoretical physics, astronomy, philosophy, mathematics and even theology.
- Hobby: History and popular science books.
- Dream vacation: During the pandemic – any.
- Music: From classical and film music through rock to pop.
was born in 1972. He graduated the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology. He is Msc of civil engineering. He is also MBA after completing the study organized by Warsaw University of Technology. He has several years experience related to the management of construction processes covering project management, design and construction. As a board member of Kajima Poland Sp. z z o.o. he is fully responsible for the overall company activity in Poland. He is formally licensed structural engineer (according to Polish law) for the construction management and design. He is the member of the PIIB (Polish Chamber of Civil Engineers) and PZITB (Polish Society of Civil Engineers and Technicians).
Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by Łukasz