Robert O’Leary, Country Head for Ireland & UK, Shapoorji Pallonji International, speaks with ROBBIE COUSINS about the construction giant’s plans to run its European operations from Ireland.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group is a globally diversified company with a leading presence in engineering construction, infrastructure, real estate, water, energy and financial services. Founded in 1865, the group comprises 13 companies and three divisions, with an employee base of over 60,000 people and operations in over 60 countries.
The Shapoorji Pallonji philosophy is that smart engineering can bring the world closer and make this planet a better place to live in.
Shapoorji Pallonji International
Shapoorji Pallonji Europe was established in Ireland in 2018. With a turnover of €28m in 2021, the company now also runs its UK and European operations from Ireland. As part of the Shapoorji Pallonji International Group, it has an asset base of $7bn to support it.
Robert O’Leary, Country Head for Ireland & UK, Shapoorji Pallonji International, explains that the company’s initial activity in Ireland was in residential development.
“Our first project in 2018 was a €6m development in Foxrock called The Terrace, which comprised eight hi-spec houses. We then took on the €13.5m development of a 67-unit residential scheme in Sandyford for Whinsfield Holdings and Respond Housing. This development is scheduled for completion in August 2022.”
The company’s next project is the design and build of a €45m 155-unit PRS scheme in Donabate for Carysfort Capital, which is about to commence on site.
Robert O’Leary adds that the company has several other residential projects in the pipeline for the coming year.
“We will be working closely with Whinsfield Holdings on several schemes in the coming months. In October, we commence work on a €15m mixed-use refurbishment to include four existing retail units and 51 apartments in Bray. In November, we start on site in Ratoath on a €20m mixed-use development of 60 apartments and two retail units. Then in February, we begin a €90m mixed-use development of 350 units in south county Dublin.”
For the moment, Shapoorji Pallonji Europe employs a project management team of 12 directly in Dublin, with another 10 working on its UK operations. But it is looking to expand this team as the range and type of projects in its portfolio expand.
“In the UK, Shapoorji has several residential and mixed-use projects on site, and we are also looking at a number of infrastructure projects,” O’Leary explains. “Axe Street, Barking, is a £40m 170-apartment development with shell and core retail. This is for Lindhill Developments and is due for completion in September. We have a £108m 440-apartment PRS development for DNA Capital in Hayes, West London, which is commencing in November, and we are finalising contracts to construct a residential tower in Canary wharf with a private client.”
On the infrastructure side, it is currently building an £80m waste-to-energy plant in Glasgow for a company owned by Shapoorji chairman Shapoor Mistry.
Shapoorji Pallonji links to Ireland
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group has strong links with Ireland. Patsy Perin Dubash, the widow of recently deceased Pallonji Mistry – the esteemed former chairman of the group – and mother of brothers Cyrus and Shapoor Mistry, who head the group, was born in 1939 in Hatch Street Nursing House, Dublin.
Cyrus and Shapoor, who are Irish citizens, have strong links with Ireland through their interest in horse breeding and the company’s support of the development of an Irish cricket academy.
Shapoorji Pallonji Ireland
Robert O’Leary explains that the company plans to expand its activities across sectors in Ireland in the coming years and brings vast expertise and resources to the Irish and UK markets.
“Our capacity to take on work in other sectors, including infrastructural work, means that we are ideally placed and resourced to deliver across multiple sectors for Irish and European-based clients. We have a full internal BIM capability, design studio, MEP and fit-out capabilities. We also have an exciting proposition for skilled Irish construction professionals to work on projects in Ireland and across Europe.
“While Shapoorji Pallonji Europe is a relatively new venture, it is important to the Mistry family, considering their strong connections to Ireland. As a company, we look forward to offering our full resources and expertise to clients across all sectors in Ireland to help them deliver on their ambitions in the years ahead,” Robert O’Leary concludes.