On a global scale, Bouygues Bâtiment International is facing up to huge Production challenges. There may be different backdrops, but the conductor never changes – the Project Director, a real cornerstone of the company organization. Discover this job and its missions with Stéphane Grandperret, Project Director in Cuba.
"You only become a Project Director
After graduating as an engineer, I began my career with GFC and Kesser, working on sewage networks. In 2000, I joined Bouygues Bâtiment International. As I speak Spanish, I had the opportunity to work in Cuba, where I stayed for six years. After the Caribbean, I moved on to Saudi Arabia (Equestrian Club), and then to Turkmenistan where I took up several projects as Project Director notably on the Congress Centre. In 2015, I returned to Cuba both as Construction Director for the Havana Area and Project Director on the Gran Hotel Manzana.
Tell us about your latest project. What was special about it?
The Gran Hotel Manzana was our first urban renovation project in Cuba. The Manzana is a historic building dating back to 1898. We carried out full renovation works and added two more floors using a self-standing metal structure. We couldn't use the building for support because the façade is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site. We couldn't touch the geometry of the building either. We had to keep the X-shaped shopping centre on the ground floor as well as the bullet holes in the façade dating back to the Cuban revolution. With the Hotel Manzana, we took quality to another level in Cuba. It's the city's first 5-star hotel. There's no shortage of hotels in Havana but a hotel of this quality with this type of service is exceptional.
Can you describe a typical day in the life of a Project Director?
There's no such thing as a typical day. You get up in the morning with a schedule that changes as you go along. It's a job that requires perspective and the ability to analyse the situation at hand. You need to be available, organised, and to give as much time to workers and colleagues as you do to clients. You have to explain, as clearly as possible, what you expect of each person. Knowing how to tell the truth is also essential. It's our ability to understand and to plan ahead that makes the difference. From a personal viewpoint, I aim to improve continuously in everything I do. I firmly believe that you only become a Project Director if you're passionate about building.