It may not be Women’s Month in East Africa, but in true Profica style we’re travelling all over the continent to highlight our fantastic female team members. Project Manager Marion Gularire was recently interviewed by Kenneth Oigo, Director – Head of East Africa.
What is your favourite part of working at Profica?
I enjoy the openness of everyone that I encounter. A mix of our Kenyan office team and the South African office team are involved in the projects that I’m working on. With the way we work and the way we relate, it doesn’t really feel like one is from the South African branch or the other one is from the Kenyan branch. We’re all unified, all speaking the same language. Our Profica systems are similar, so it makes integration easy. We have a clear direction and everyone is feeling it. Also, I enjoy the trust that our directors place in people. You don’t have people micromanaging you, they trust that you’re able to do your job.
How did you start your career in the property industry?
I actually missed doing medicine, and got called in to do project management. I had never thought about it as a career before, but when I researched it I found it was very marketable and that I would always have a job. After university, I was lucky enough to be employed almost immediately. Once I started, I realised, wow, this is actually something I was meant to do. And I’ve been enjoying it ever since!
What do you believe are your key strengths?
I am a firm believer in doing what is required of me and I always strive to do that. And I’m tech-savvy, so I don’t find it difficult to manoeuvre within systems. I find that Profica has very robust systems in terms of how everything is carried out. My administrative skills are also one of my strongest points which has helped me in project management – it’s a key skill to have.
I would say your temperament is your strength as well. In project management, how you relate with people and how you talk to them is important, especially to get people to rally behind you, and to achieve certain objectives within projects. A project manager is basically a coach. Having said that, what is your biggest success in your career so far?
My biggest success is the growth I’ve achieved through exposure to international clients.
This has been an eye opener for me and has boosted my career. People from other countries and regions can approach things very differently to how we do things, and we need to meet those client expectations. I’ve learnt how to work with international clients and how things are done in other countries. I’m very happy with the international platform that I’m thankful for what I’ve achieved in my career. I enjoy the fit-out elements and will channel my career in that direction. When it comes to actual implementation, I can proudly say I’ve finished several fitouts and I’m working on turnkey solutions.
Can you tell us what really inspires you?
I draw my inspiration from the need to grow and the need to learn more. Also, the need to reach that level in my career where I can be financially free.
What about outside of work – what are your hobbies?
I’m very into crafts – knitting, beadwork and such. I also do a lot of reading outside my normal work setup to keep occupied in our ‘new normal’. It’s challenging for me to find a better balance and not be a workaholic, as at the moment you don’t always have that clear break between work and home. You need to create the break.
Please tell us what your vision for the industry is. How do you think the industry should evolve?
Looking forward, I would say we must become even more technologically savvy as software develops. I think rapidly embracing new technology in construction will be the best direction for the industry.