Business Projections 2020: ‘We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us'

26th January 2020

In a feature published by the Malta Chamber’s annual publication, Economic Vision 2020, a number of business leaders share their thoughts for the upcoming year. This is the first part of that series.

“I’m very excited to see what 2020 brings, but we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us,” says Matthew J. Mercieca, a senior architect with over 20 years’ experience in applying his unified design approach to residential, commercial, food, beverage and hospitality projects.

Stepping into 2020, businesses in Malta are faced with a wealth of opportunities and challenges, which Perit Mercieca knows all too well. “We have the opportunity to upscale our investments and operations, which will entail working on multiple tracks to improve the odds of winning despite complexities in human resources,” he explains.

“After 16 years, the MJMDA head office will embark on another extension – our fourth organic evolution of the space. The upcoming development will work to the benefit of our team as well as our clients. We’ll also be working to consolidate and amplify our international resource market.”

In the coming years, Perit Mercieca thinks – more than ever before – that firms and individuals are going to realise that integration and a holistic approach to the delivery of professional services – rather than a piecemeal approach – is essential for success.

“Time is everything,” he contends. “Prompt service provision and response time are more crucial than costs. Optimising time is the springboard to improved quality, and companies and individuals will soon be compelled to follow this route by investing in improvements, so as to remain relevant. Developing projects in a fragmented manner, instead of following a holistic design and cradle-to-grave approach, is going to lose favour because of its inherent lack of appeal.”

A change in approach comes hand-in-hand with an increasing awareness of how business activities affect society at large. “I believe that top-tier companies are becoming more receptive to strategies of corporate social responsibility,” says Perit Mercieca, “but I still sense a divide between those companies that do a lot and those that have no drive or reason to ‘do good’ because they’ll sell their products and services regardless.

“What certainly needs to change is the knowledge and awareness of consumers, as this will affect their purchasing decisions. In reality, do people really distinguish between more and less sustainable products or companies? Or do they simply care about their own interests and watch their pockets? In this respect, education needs to achieve more. We need cultural assimilation from generation to generation for real improvement, because we should all have the privilege of buying sustainable products at reasonable prices.”

Reflecting specifically on the construction sector, Perit Mercieca’s final thoughts for 2020 are: “Architecture, structures, building services and interiors services, as well as the project management of holistic projects, are tightly linked to wider economic developments and investments. For most operators, the state of the sector depends on the state of the economy. However, in the case of MJMDA, we work for many end-users directly. This diversification leads me to expect a healthy 2020.”

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Business Projections 2020: ‘We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us'