What do you do at MRG?
I am the Managing Director and a shareholder for MRG People Asia.
What are you most proud about that you have achieved in your career to date?
Very interesting question and probably not one that I can answer in one simple statement.
I’ve had a very good fortune to work with some of the largest projects in the world such as the Burj Khalifa, Wembley Stadium, Westfield White City, TRX, the Blackrock account in London and a number of giga projects in Saudi Arabia, inclusive of Neom. In addition to that, I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with some of the best CEOs who run some of the largest companies in the world such as Lendlease, Neom, Aecom, Pavilion Grp, Oberio Hotels and BD Group India.
I would say that one of my proudest achievements to date is the fact that, since 1998, my job has allowed me to live in the UK (which is where I am from), The Middle East, India, and Malaysia – which is where I have now been since 2012. I have also owned businesses and been able to travel the surrounding regions extensively.
How did you get into recruitment and why?
Funnily enough I actually started off in IT recruitment for a company called extra IT, I went there for a receptionist job and was subsequently made a consultant. From the late 1990s I have specialised in full lifecycle real estate recruitment, providing executive search, contingency recruitment and RPO services to the above-mentioned companies.
What energises you about working in this sector?
A big personal passion of mine is getting to work on some of the largest projects in the world. I love that I get a behind-the-scenes look at how these projects are managed, whilst working with and recruiting some of the most senior and specialist individuals out there.
What is the biggest thing that’s changed in recruitment since you started?
LinkedIn, not having to use a fax machine and I guess the industry to a certain extent. When I started there were less “Bedroom” recruiters and the market was populated by large agencies, this has now changed extensively – some change has been positive, some negative.
How did you get into recruitment in the Asia market?
After five years in the Middle East running my own business I wanted to work in a developing market where I could be a more effective recruiter in a smaller pool of service providers. I was essentially headhunted to come and set up what was then known as the engineering division for Networkers Intl, which later became known as Matchtech / Gattaca.
What do you think the biggest misconception people have about you is?
I’d say that because I appear quite cool, calm and collected, people are always surprised to find out how excited and lucky I feel to be able to work in the industry I do. Whilst recruiters are not often the most important part of a project, I take great gratification knowing that I have assembled teams which have built some of the most iconic buildings across the globe.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I am an avid cyclist and regularly cycle 100 KM each week on my Trek Madone SLR 7.
What’s the best advice anyone has every given you?
I always got the best advice from my dad. He taught me that “Continuity is everything in recruitment” and “Nothing will be more effective than hard work”.
What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?
Outgoing, hard-working, enjoys taking risks.
And finally, who would play you in the movie about your life?
Get in touch with Olly for an informal chat about how he can help you and your recruitment needs.