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Sr. Sariah On Beyond 2020 Push Boundaries Set Higher Benchmarks


Kuala Lumpur: It had been a busy four days for Sr. Sariah Abdul Karib, Senior General Manager of Corporate and Business Sector, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Malaysia.


 She had been doing her rounds at the Asean Super 8 at ICW 2019, observing and taking notes at the event taking place under a new name and in a new location for the first time.


 “I’ve personally been talking to visitors and I must say that the feedback has been largely positive, with participants very happy with the quality of the speakers at the International Construction Transformation Conference (ICTC), as well as the exhibitions and the paid and free seminars,” began Sariah, the lady behind CIDB’s International Construction Week (ICW).


 Sariah is looking at retirement later this year, but suffice to say, should she choose to stay away from her high-pressure work to potter about the garden or commune with nature, she would have more than earned it.


 Reflecting on possibly her last “active” ICW, the immaculate lady shares her observations of the Asean Super 8 and ICW 2019.


 “For me it’s about giving people value. When they go away from our event, they must have gained sufficiently to appreciate its value and want to return for more. This means a lot of hard work must go into the planning stage.


 “I’d say it’s 80% planning and 20% execution. I always tell my teams to push their boundaries and not be easily satisfied.”


 This is CIDB’s 21st edition of the ICW bringing together construction industry players to showcase, learn, build partnerships and share innovative ideas in this region’s biggest construction event.


 The ICW is CIDB's commitment towards making Malaysia's construction industry a global leader, by synergising a highly-skilled workforce with modern construction technologies.


 “2019 has brought eight exhibitions under one roof for the first time, extending the breadth and depth of the whole spectrum of the construction industry. I think with this new venue and added attractions that we have thrown in, we have certainly managed to whet the appetites of visitors this time around.”


 Sariah acknowledged the contributions of their partner, UBM Malaysia, which creates business growth opportunities for Asean and the rest of the world in a wide range of industries. Hence this year UBM’s collaboration with CIDB for its ICW came under the name Asean Super 8 ICW 2019.


 “UBM has done an excellent job so far and we hope to continue our great partnership with more collaborative arrangements in the future. For instance, UBM is in charge of the open seminars now but I feel it has to be a joint effort in the future to make it an even bigger success.”


 Asean Super 8 and ICW 2019 attracted 350 booths involving 500 companies and the visitor footfall had exceeded 20,000, much bigger than the 14,000 in 2018. The seminars alone - both free and paid - had about 6,000 participants, triple fold of last year.


 “The biggest challenge for next year and beyond I feel is to continuously add value. Giving value to the participants and continuously improving. In doing that, I see a lot of opportunity for improvement.


 “I urge more collaboration with stakeholders - associations, government agencies, policymakers, universities - to come forward and engage with us. It is basically knowledge enhancement, to share best practices on whatever they have, be it a new concept, idea or policy.”


 Sariah also explained that after studying feedback from participants of last year’s exhibition, CIDB decided to drop certain features such as the Career Fair and Women in Construction [with KUBINA] from the ICTC, which objective is to promote international best practices in construction which are aligned with the general objective of the Construction Industry Transformation Programme (CITP).


 “We decided to organise the Career Fair back to back with our skills competition, which only makes more sense really. Pertaining to the Women in Construction segment, we realised that putting it together with the ICTC wasn’t such a good idea.


 “To compensate, we had some brilliant women speakers of great calibre taking to the stage during the ICTC this year, even handling an entire session. This I feel has been a great achievement.”


 Sariah was in fact rightfully proud of the quality of the entire team of speakers at both the ICTC as well as the seminars.


 In line with CIDB’s theme of Beyond 2020, a range of topics were covered by renowned innovators and experts on topics such as Innovation and Productivity in Construction, Smart Cities and Construction Safety.


 “It was wonderful, for instance, listening to industry experts talking about sustainability using bamboo as a building material or when they hit the nail on the head by saying “We Can’t Build Another Planet”.


 “I’m also happy to have incorporated last year’s winners to come as speakers this time and they did pretty well I thought. Response has been overwhelming and we are very happy with the overall outcome.


 “Although participants were charged RM500 we still attracted around 550 participants who I feel have got more than their money’s value.”


 Sariah ended by thanking CIDB’s partner UBM, as well as all 73 partners in all the seminars, exhibitions and competitions staged this year.


 “We are very happy with the outcome of this year’s ICW and certainly look forward to putting on a much bigger show next year-with more added value.”


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[March 26, 2019)


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