There are many different jobs that are part of a construction project. One of those roles is that of Public Affairs Manager, which is related to all tasks necessary for construction, such as the calculation and management of construction materials and personnel costs, quantity calculation, licensing, subcontracting, bidding, and documentation completion. Jeon Jung-nam, currently Public Affairs Manager at the site of the construction of Saudi Tadawul Tower, has accumulated expertise in the construction during his 30 years of experience. In a recent interview with Jeon, he emphasized the principle of treating others sincerely and solving issues with humility.
The sites that have guided his construction life
Homeplus is a chain of large-scale hypermarkets in Korea, and as they are almost always located in congested and complex city centers, the process of construction can raise complaints from and create friction. This can make those construction sites challenging places to work. However, Jeon Jung-nam has worked at 15 Homeplus sites over 8 years, and he gleaned some principles from that, namely to resolve disputes in a humble manner, to treat people sincerely, and to keep promises made.
He says, “Construction is an experience-based industry. My second Homeplus site was easier than the first, and the third and fourth taught me how to shorten the construction period.” At his last construction site, “I put all our collective know-how into it, which allowed us to complete the project ahead of schedule and under budget.”
Jeon Jung-nam’s third construction site, for an apartment in Yongbong-dong neighborhood Gwangju, helped make Jeon who he is today. During the preliminary site inspection, something said by a future tenant stuck in Jeon’s mind and has guided his work for the last thirty years.
Jeon explains, “That man spent his whole life saving for this apartment, and he said it was his dream to live in it. That was when I realized: I must do my best because I am helping to build someone’s dream.”
Besides these two sites, Jeon has worked on many different sites over the last thirty years, from Caribbean Bay, Incheon Airport Terminal, Gwanggyo Lake Park, and now Tadawul Tower, continually trying his best.
Tadawul Tower a landmark for Saudi Arabia and for Jeon
With two decades of experience under his belt when he arrived at Saudi Arabia Tadawul site in January 2015, he was nevertheless somewhat perplexed by the mix of different language and working styles. It pushed him to work closely with his construction colleagues. Additionally, he checked the resources needed to proceed with each phase of construction and meticulously confirmed if there were any difficulties in construction. And, of course, the learning never stops.
“I was about 45 when I came here, but I think I studied English harder than when I was in school, he comments, adding, “After work every day, I read English books out loud and memorize the sentences I have to use often.”
Tadawul Tower, with 42 stories above ground and 4 below it, is the Saudi stock exchange in the center of Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District. Construction started on Tadawul Tower in September 2012 by Samsung C&T E&C Group, which has a proven track record of completing construction projects on time. The building is slated for completion this year. Tadawul Tower, which upon completion will be a landmark for the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, will also be a landmark in Jeon Jung-nam’s career.
Jeon says, “I still remember my colleagues who worked with me on Phase 1 of Tadawul Tower. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to complete the framework construction in a totally new work environment. I will also remember all my colleagues who are working with me on Phase 2. We’re making history now.”
A wonderful person who colleagues want to follow
Jeon shows interest in every area of the construction field and is often willing to help his colleagues with small requests. This is why his juniors follow him without hesitation and some juniors say they will follow him wherever he goes.
In fact, one even applied to work on any site where Jeon Jung-nam is present, because he wanted to work with him again. him. That junior admits that it was hard work, but it was also an opportunity for growth by learning a lot from Jeon Jung-nam. And Jeon’s colleagues describe him as a man who carries out his public affairs duties with a humble attitude and shares positive energy to those around him.
His colleagues who follow Jeon liken him to a cool colleague character in a workplace drama and describe him as a man who thinks of his colleagues first and knows how to enjoy himself even in difficult situations.
Jeon Jung-nam solves problems with a humble attitude and unwavering determination, no matter the situation. He always does his best, bearing in mind the idea that he is building someone else’s dream.
Samsung C&T E&C built another skyscraper in Riyadh, the Al Rajhi Bank headquarters building. This tower plays an important role in bringing together Al Rajhi bank employees who were scattered throughout the Saudi capital. Also in Saudi Arabia, the Samsung C&T E&C Group is working on more projects, including ultra-high-rise structures, general buildings, subway trains, and others.