It’s been two years since Ian Fernandes-Johnson joined IDH as managing director. Today we caught up with Ian to see how he’s doing and what has changed since he started.
What are your two-year highlights – what are you most proud of?
I started working at IDH in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, which brought challenges of its own. I was responsible for bringing everyone back into work from furlough, ensuring new safety measures and procedures were in place and being followed by the team. A lot has happened in the past two years, but a few personal highlights are:
- The general growth of the business – We’ve opened more offices both within the UK and across the globe. This has led to a growth of customers and jobs.
- Starting the IDH-approved ICE training scheme – This means our team are constantly learning new skills, staying up to date with safety procedures and improving on the knowledge they already have. Like most industries, we are constantly learning better methods to ensure we provide top-level service to our customers.
- Starting the dedicated Steelworks division. [You can see more on this by browsing our structural steelwork design and detailing service page.]
- Bringing on two apprentices into the business – Anthony Kenmare, director at IDH Manchester has been an incredible mentor, and both of our apprentices have shown great potential. This has been encouraging, especially currently, when there seems to be a shortage of experience in the industry.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love the daily grind! Day-to-day interaction and banter with our great team, and our customers. It’s great to work in a team where everyone is involved in so much.
What has changed the most since you first started?
So much and yet so little has changed in the past two years. We are still a humble team, dedicated to providing great service to every project we work on, no matter how big or small. The biggest change I would say is the variety and size of some of the projects that we are involved in. We are working on some of the biggest projects around the globe.
What are the main challenges you face as managing director?
Time constraints without a doubt. There is always something that needs my attention. But that might just be my nature!
What keeps you motivated?
Honestly, it’s having my future very much in my hands. I love the freedom to help shape the direction, but also, honestly, driving success is always on my mind, propelling me forwards.
How do you ensure your team stays motivated?
You would have to ask them personally! But from my point of view, I just want them all developing, happy, and engaged in some interesting and complex engineering projects. I think it’s important for them to constantly be learning and growing.
You’ve already expanded a lot since you started – what’s in IDH’s future plans? Any plans to expand further – new locations, new departments?
We have lots of plans for the future. Expansion is definitely on the cards: more office locations, other countries, even more diversity in our staff, new services and divisions. I personally look up to companies like Tony Gee and Wentworth House and we really are striving to achieve those pinnacles of our profession. We’ve got a long way to go but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Thank you Ian, here’s to many more brilliant years to come!