Swede Wins Property Award in Thailand

On December 6th 2011, thirty months after the actual beginning of the project Mandala in Bang Tao, it was finally recognised by the Thanachart Bank Thailand Property Awards for its Mandala Condominiums as the Best Condo Development on Phuket.

Its initiator, builder and entrepreneur Staffan Nordstrand from Sweden personally attended the awards ceremony held at Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in Bangkok.

The award comes in recognition of quality where only the best of the best can win. The awards assist in promoting a high level of quality in Thailand’s real estate, construction, architectural and interior design sectors where nominees undergoes scrutiny to become short-listed and eventually the winners.

Mandala eventually made it (nominated also in 2010) and won the condominium category for Phuket in tough competition with Alanna and Kamala Falls Residential Resort.

The developer come book author Staffan Nordstrand said after the receiving the prize that he thinks the quality has been decisive.

“We decided to go through with – simply put and as we so often are tired of hearing – Swedish standard. But we succeeded – and not only regarding materials but regarding a European approach in how we handle our workers.  To be socially involved, to understand them and their knowledge and what they can do and cannot so we can place them in the right team related to their competence, is the key.”

The Swede oversaw the construction from inception to final product and gave on-site training to the building team.

He set a benchmark for luxury property on Phuket and personally monitored the quality control in order to conform to and even exceed ISO standards both in terms of site operation and overall build quality. The meticulous construction meant it took seven months longer than planned.

A detailed approach was taken in how all the materials were sourced and used. Eliminating all the levels in-between the manager and the craftsman doing the actual job was also essential.

Staffan, who plans to retire in one year from now to concentrate on his newfound interest in writing books, likes to think that he has contributed to higher standards.

“Many of the other construction companies and project leaders have come to me to ask for help. Then I have replied: ‘No I can’t but I can show you the way we did things.’ And that has contributed to raising the bar – definitely. And looking at Alanna, Kamala Falls and many others, the level has gone up significantly in the last three years.”

He also gave praise to the construction contractor DCM Solutions – in which he found his perfect match – for their uniqueness in having genuine, top craftsmanship skills in the form of its Managing Director Julian Olds, and who has educated his own workers.

Both counterparts had a strong understanding and could thus more easily understand each other throughout the project.

“There were no consultants between us and we could communicate easily. Also you must know what you are doing and consequently you have quality, and quantity controls which I’ve done myself.”

A non-biased panel of judges handpicked from the real estate industry selected Mandala Condominiums to be among the award winners. They reviewed entries and submitted their short-list to BDO Advisory Limited, which is overseeing the process and then selected a final short-list of up to five per award category before jointly deciding upon the winner. Site inspections and face-to-face meetings with project senior executives of the short-listed developers were undertaken in the process.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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