Business News of 2013-12-11

‘Engineers must be marketing-oriented’

The Managing Director of EUGO Terrano, Ms Eunice Aku Ogbugo, has called on engineers to adopt marketing as a way of showcasing their worth to the public.

“We need to showcase our worth to the world because that is the way to go in these modern days”, she said, adding “we need to see engineering as a business just like we see with other professions such as banking, insurance and telecommunications”.

Ms Ogbugo made the call when she delivered a lecture at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG) forum on the theme: “Future think on marketing and the engineering profession”.

“In the developing world, engineers are marketing what they do and that is making them very popular all over”, she said adding “that is why we need to do same to become attractive”.

The call comes at a time when majority of the engineering works are being released to foreign companies because of the marketing strategy they have adopted to showcase their works.

Ghanaian engineers have been described as conservative; always keeping to themselves and not wiling to expose what they are worth.

Ghanaian engineers often shy away from the media whenever they are questioned about what was going on with a project they may be handling at a particular time.

In Ghana, there is seldom any documentary of any major engineering works undertaken.

In many foreign countries, iconic engineering works are documented in the form of films for the record and sent out for free across the world.

For instance, the entire processes involved in the construction of the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia; Lippo Centre in Hong Kong; the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Europe; the unique Disney-esque St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow; Empire State Building, NYC; Lloyds Building, London among others have all been made into documentary films and spread across the world and that is the marketing aspect of engineering.

Ms Ogbugo said marketing engineering works could also help the country to promote tourism since many people could travel into the country to see the engineering works.

“Ghana, she said, could be like Dubai” Malaysia among others and that takes a combined effort of engineers and marketers to make it happen; Engineers will do the work and marketers will spreads the quality work,” she added.

She challenged CIMG to lead the drive to train engineers in the country to be able to market themselves by telling what they do for the rest of the world while trumpeting their capabilities.

Ms Ogbugo also mentioned a special awards to recognise the works of engineers and construction related individuals and institutions because that will encourage them and boost their “marketing spirit and lift their image up because the awards will help enhance their reputation “.

Normally, the selection of engineers for projects is strictly based on the technical abilities of the company or individual but according to Ms Ogbugo, the trend needs to change.

She said it was time for the softer sides of engineers to be recognised, adding “they need to consider our Corporate Social responsibility profile, the awards a company has won, jobs executed, payment of social security, tax obligations among many others.

Through that, she said competition would be keener and the end results would be to the benefit of the country and the engineers themselves.

According to her, “It is too dangerous to relegate the engineering and construction profession to the background”.

She mentioned the disaster that hit the Melcom building and noted that had engineers been allowed to market their works, they would have been compelled to do quality work at all times because failures would go against their reputation.

“Marketing produces excellence because the more you market yourself, the more you become visible; the more pressure you will have to deliver quality work and excellence”.