Success Story: Eversendai: The rise and rise of a local steel construction giant

Tan Sri A K Nathan founder of Eversendai


What comes to mind when you see Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Ain Dubai, Dubai Opera House, Abu Dhabi International Airport, Hamad International Airport and Qatar National Museum in Qatar, Riyadh Metro Station, Kuwait University, Singapore Indoor Stadium and Republic Plaza in Singapore?

If you have keen interest on building structures, you’ll quickly point out the company behind executing these highly complex steel buildings and structures with splendid engineering craftsmanship is none other than Eversendai Corporation Berhad – among the most eminent companies in construction industry today.

Eversendai is a true Malaysian inspiration, an epitome of a local company that has made it exceptionally well internationally.

Eversendai is recognised as a leading global organisation undertaking turnkey contracts; delivering highly complex projects with innovative construction methodology for steel structures, power and petrochemical plants as well as composite and reinforced concrete building structures. As an integrated structural steel contractor, Eversendai has, over the past three decades, completed more than 300 projects in the Middle East, India and South East Asia.

A humble beginning

The history of Eversendai goes back to 1984, starting out as a small-scale structural steel erection company to a multinational entity that specialises in power plant and structural steel turnkey contracting.

The first project for Eversendai was in 1988 where it undertook the Singapore Indoor Stadium project. With its successful completion, there was no looking back for the company with extensive high profile projects lined up in 15 countries. What’s more, all these projects were acquired through invitations rather than bidding.

Tan Sri AK Nathan, Executive Chairman and Group Managing Director of Eversendai Corporation Berhad, has this to say on his company’s well-established track record: “Eversendai does not have a marketing department or a business development department. We only have a proposal tendering department which bids for jobs and most of the time gets jobs on negotiated basis.”

His apparent confidence is a result of Eversendai’s excellent track record and commitment in delivering projects on time (many well ahead of the handover dates), without compromising on safety and quality of workmanship. It’s assurance of excellence with world class standards has garnered many repeat clients internationally where the bulk of Eversendai’s business comes from.

The Group has been awarded contracts for the structural design, fabrication and erection of steel structures for one of the largest Metro stations in Doha; Blue Water – Dubai Eye and Tiara United Tower in Dubai; Marathon Futurex II in Mumbai, DLF IT Park Phase III in Chennai, the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, India as well as Lot 91 Kuala Lumpur City Centre in Malaysia.

What makes Eversendai a leading and innovative global organisation can be attributed to an established management which overlooks the areas of planning, procurement, HSE and execution, combined with experienced managers, engineers alongside a strong dedicated workforce of 15,000. Another key element that made Eversendai highly successful today is how effortlessly it fits into every respective country wherever it ventured and by understanding the local norms.

When persuaded to reveal his company’s success story, Nathan has only this to say: “I don’t have any magic. It’s just a simple approach of keeping the commitments of delivering projects as what we (have) committed and (by) maintaining a very healthy relationship.”

“[Our] clients believe when a job is entrusted to Eversendai, it will be done with no nonsense!”

He considers that the successful and timely completion of the company’s projects accompanied by its well-established reputation, innovation, creativity and aspiration to move to new frontiers have been the key drivers for achieving continuous growth through the years without compromising on established fundamental core values. The Group continuously implements cost control measures and improve efficiency to enhance margins, profitability and cash flow going forward.

Toolkits to success

Now, the million dollar question: Can Malaysian companies venture out overseas and become as successful? Nathan strongly believes there are many with great potential. However, he emphasises that there is always competition wherever you operate. He advises that it’s imperative that a company constantly focuses on its core values on ways to reduce cost, increase productivity and maximise profits.

Sitting isolated in an ivory tower delegating solutions is a big no for him. Success is a collaborative effort and he strongly believes Eversendai is where it is today because he takes the time to resolve problems along with his staff.

There are few down-to-earth pointers that Nathan wants companies thriving forward to always keep in mind:

–   Be humble

–   Be hands on

–   Not to give up easily because challenges are always there in business, especially in the tough construction


Eversendai’s commitment to innovate the best construction solutions to translate ideas into reality even for the most challenging and complex architecture has won them many accolades and admiration along the way.

The steel manufacturing acumen of Eversendai Corporation Berhad has won itself another round of latest awards: International Achievement Award at CIDB’s Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Award (MCIEA 2017) for three of its projects, namely QPMC Gabbro Terminal Expansion, Qatar; Qatar Nasional Museum and Dubai Opera House.

[February 19, 2018]


This article is part of  CIDB Success Story series.