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#Duckumentary - Akul Modi

Today we speak with Akul Modi, Estimator/Assistant Project Manager!

What did you do before your time at EDA/BBCI?

To simplify my answer, I would say my career path is as similar as the project timeline. Honestly, I just realized that as I was writing this.

First you start with schematic design, then you go for construction documents, you estimate and finally you start managing! Similarly, I started my journey in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Post graduation, I got the wonderful opportunity to work with OPOLIS Architects, Mumbai as a project Architect. My responsibilities were to design and prepare construction documents. In 2018, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in construction management from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. While studying at TJU, I was also working with HSC Builders as the Project Estimator. At last, In 2021, I joined EDA/BBCI as the Project Estimator and Assistant Project Manager.

What brought you to the construction industry?

Two things brought me to the construction industry: I like to draw, and I like to build what I sketched. Working on a large-scale museum project as an On-site Architect became a turning point in my life. You will be surprised to know that in India, even designers have a field office to monitor and review the construction work with their design intent. Little bit frustrating from Contractor’s point of view, LOL!

While working in the field, I learned that accomplishing any design requires proper management with cleverness of execution technique. At that point, I realized that the construction execution process fascinates me more than just designing on paper. The affection of watching actual execution brought me to this wonderful industry.

Can you briefly explain what you do at EDA/BBCI?

I am the Project Estimator and Assistant Project Manager at BBCI. I estimate the projects and try hard to win the bids (as many as possible). I am also assisting my team for project management processes such as change orders, RFI, shop drawings, design engineering etc. Along with all of our team members, I am also focusing on promoting BBCI to the tristate region.

What are some things that most people don't know about you?

I am an extrovert, I like to talk. I like to share my experiences and feelings with other people including my coworkers, friends, and family. Interesting fact is, I used to be a visiting professor at CEPT university, India for a Construction Estimation course.

If you weren’t in the construction industry, where would you be today?

I am very passionate about cooking. So, I would say my alternate career would be a chef. I would have owned a café or a would have been a head chef somewhere in a fancy restaurant. I am a foodie too.

If you could work in any other trade or department here at EDA/BBCI, where would you be?

I would like to stick with estimation as my core. So, the flat roof or wall panel estimation trade will be an interesting thing to add.   

What is the biggest challenge you've faced in work? How did you overcome it?

BBCI is a special trade company with a specialized workforce. The more special trade is often equates to low growth potential in the current region. Increasing the bid volume and finding the correct (special) project for the team is a little challenging. To overcome it, we worked as a team. Saying YES to each bid opportunity is one way to increase the probability of winning. Our team is promoting BBCI as much as possible. As an estimator I am in the process of contacting new GCs, consultants, and architects to increase our bid volume. We continuously upgrade our proposals. We give more than what our customer is asking.

What has been the best part about your experience working with EDA/BBCI?

BBCI is NOT a company. It is a family. We face challenges together, we celebrate together, we argue, we apologize, we feel, we value, we express, we enjoy work, we trust, we resolve and most importantly we GROW together. I am very fortunate to be in this environment where I can speak freely, make suggestions, and feel motivated all the time.

What is your favorite EDA value, and why?

Work Proud. EDA/BBCI employees appreciate the good work. They consider your opinions and value them. You will feel satisfied and motivated.