Since its formation, four years ago, RDA Engineering faced the challenge of gaining space in the global market for services associated with infrastructure projects. To achieve this objective, the firm aimed to have a team of professionals specialized in different areas and to implement an internationalization strategy that, so far, allowed it to work in the development of projects in 17 countries. The chosen path seems to be the right one.
RDA Ingeniería is participating in the development of six construction projects located outside Uruguay. The firm has vast experience in providing consulting services abroad, but this is the first time it has been involved in so many international projects simultaneously.
In addition to the quantity, the variety of projects, countries and tasks to be carried out stands out. On the one hand, RDA Ingeniería was contracted to calculate structures associated with an archaeological park in Spain, a subway line in Panama and a sugar refinery in Saudi Arabia. It is also auditing the calculation of structures for three hospitals in Chile, managing the construction of a 15-storey building in Argentina and developing a post-tensioned slab project for a large building in Paraguay.
In total, RDA Engineering has worked on the realization of projects promoted in 17 countries.
The activity of RDA Engineering began in October 2013, with the purpose of providing structural calculation services, both locally and internationally. With the passage of time, the company expanded its capabilities, incorporating road and hydraulic/environmental engineering departments, which allows it to develop integral infrastructure projects. Currently, its inhouse team is composed of 26 engineers and architects, who are enhanced with freelance professionals with whom the firm has a frequent link.
CHALLENGES AND KEY MILESTONES TO ACHIEVE RESULTS
"Since RDA Ingeniería began to operate, we aim at its internationalization, motivated by two factors: expanding opportunities for growth and participating in projects that, due to their size or complexity, are sporadically promoted in Uruguay", commented Sebastián Dieste, one of the directors and founders of the firm. At the same time, through the generation of a continuous work demand and the participation in challenging projects, "the conditions were created to form and retain an excellent team of collaborators and attract talents", explained Dieste.
Martín Reina, also director and founder of RDA Engineering, stressed the importance of adapting to the demands established by the foreign market regarding the use of state-of-the-art technology and knowledge of different regulatory frameworks. "One aspect that strongly contributed to our internalization was the early incorporation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, as well as the expertise we have generated in the handling of international standards and specific software," he said.
The internalization strategy focused on three countries: Spain, by professional contacts developed by the directors of RDA Ingeniería; Paraguay, because a significant growth potential was detected at the level of consulting services; and the United States, by the size of the market and the opportunities it presents as a demand for engineering services. In particular, the interaction with clients from Spain made it possible for the company to participate in projects in other countries and to generate work experience in the international arena. In the case of Paraguay, where RDA Ingeniería has its own office, the support provided by the Embassy of Uruguay in Asunción and Uruguay XXI, through its Proexport and Fodime programs, was key. For its part, the commitment to the U.S. market resulted in an especially relevant achievement for the firm: the preliminary design of a mixed-use building (shopping center and housing) of more than 60,000 square meters in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dieste and Reina agreed in emphasizing that Uruguay has qualified human resources to meet the external demand for services related to the construction industry, as evidenced by the trajectory of RDA Engineering. Likewise, both entrepreneurs affirmed that the experience of the firm also reflects that, in order to gain spaces in the field at an international level, it is key to form a work team that is "diverse, stable and open to incorporate new capacities on a permanent basis".