S.G Nair : Danway EME

S.G Nair

When S.G Nair joined Danway EME more than 30 years ago, the business had yet to realise its full potential. Whilst operational as trading unit, the contracting arm was still in its infancy and it was down to Nair to lead the company into the future. Today Danway EME is valued at upwards of 270 million USD and enjoys an exemplary record of delivering engineering support to a range of industry sectors.

The company is focused on five key domains – energy, infrastructure, oil and gas, industry and maintenance and testing – and represents more than 100 companies in electro-mechanical and instrumentation equipment supply and service. An industry leader it offers unparalleled expertise in implementing electrical, instrumentation, civil and mechanical projects, servicing the broader Gulf Cooperation Council from its headquarters in the UAE.

Built on a philosophy of quality, consistency and commitment, Danway EME is one of the most respected construction companies in the region. Nair says: “The quality of any organisation hangs on deliverables. Our product is top quality and we always deliver on time. You have to prove yourself as a reliable contractor – make a commitment to your customer and they will make a repeat order. The customer is king.”

One major client clearly impressed with Danway EME is Emirates Global Aluminium. “We started working with them in 1993,” says Nair, “and we are still working with them today. They have such faith and confidence in our work that, despite the fact we are a contractor, it’s as if we are a part of their family.”It’s these proven client relationships that are key to Danway EME’s enduring success. According to Nair, supplier relationships are of equal importance.“


Indeed, punctuality is critical to Nair, a man who appreciates the respect and order that timeliness and discipline bring to an organisation. With this comes a trust, a value that has enabled an autonomous working structure at Danway EME. Nair believes that staff function most efficiently when they are given space to pursue projects without unnecessary supervision. He says: “I give complete freedom to my staff. A project manager is given a budget and basic parameters after which he is 100% responsible for the delivery of the project. I let him run his kingdom.”

Danway EME is also a pioneer of ‘workplace culture’and takes a progressive attitude towards employee satisfaction. The office has been designed to create a greater sense of collaboration between different departments, with floor-to-ceiling glass partitions, bright, mood-enhancing lighting systems and a cafeteria serving subsidised meals. Recreational facilities such as indoor multi-purpose courts for sport and a gym are all on site and the company spearheads various initiatives to motivate and its staff. Professional and personal growth flourish in tandem here – more than 50 employee appreciation awards are granted each year along with additional nods to excellence such as vouchers and gifts. Additionally there is an annual performance reward review for all staff. Nair says: “We have an annual family day, a sports day, and an end-of-year party for the entire company – all the way down to the lowest-level employees,” he says. “I try to say hello to everyone and I make sure all the managers attend so that we have at least one meal per year together. It’s important because we have close to 3000 employees and almost 22 ongoing projects.”Evidently this is a formula that works. Many employees have been with Danway EME for much longer than is customary today, with some key staff enjoying careers of 20 years or more – including Nair’s secretary who has worked alongside him for the last 28 years. He says: “My employees feel comfortable within this organisation and genuinely enjoy what they’re doing. That’s the style of ambience I create here. The day you wake up feeling it’s just another day, it’s time to stop. You should feel excited to come to the office every morning.”

With more than 20 different nationalities working at Danway EME, the company has to maintain an inclusive outlook and promote fellowship above all.“The Gulf is unusual in that it employs a multi-national workforce,” says Nair. “Promoting harmony between the different religions, colours and creeds is especially important for the success of this company.”It’s fair to say that managing such a delicate cultural and ethnic mix demands a sensitive hand, something that Danway EME has proven during its four decades in operation. In 2017 the company was the recipient of the Succeed award, an accolade granted by the government of Dubai to recognise companies that empower and especially care for the well-being of staff. What we do “is not common in this part of the world”, says Nair. “But I believe in employees. After all, the strength of a company is its people.”

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