Blueprint wouldn’t be the business it is today without Rohan’s early vision to create a firm that always puts culture first.
As the founding director, he is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the firm, while still playing an active role in the management of major projects. Through his leadership, he set the foundation for a business that values people-driven innovation.
When Rohan was in high school, all he ever wanted to be was a builder. However it wasn’t a future that his parents imagined for him, and they insisted he continue with his studies. He applied for a job as a structural draughtsman, and once school was completed, he worked in this role for a year until he started his engineering degree in Melbourne. Rohan went on to complete that degree in three years, instead of the intended four, while continuing to work in the industry.
Rohan onsite with Ed Stubenitsky from Fletcher Living. Stonefields residential project.
This achievement is reflective of Rohan’s ambitious nature. After moving to New Zealand, Rohan spent a number of years working for Beca in the commercial structures group, but Rohan had his sights set on something else for his career.
“I had always wanted to run and operate my own business. I’d become frustrated with the bureaucracy of working in a large business, and I wasn’t prepared to hang around and wait years to get to where I wanted. So, I decided it was time to take a risk and start my own business. That’s when Blueprint was formed in 2003.”
Rohan spent the next few years working as a sole practitioner. This structure allowed him to enjoy time and flexibility with his young family. But before long, that ambition for something bigger kicked in again, and his vision moved to building a team that would have an industry reputation for excellence and innovation.
“I had enjoyed my time at Beca, but I also learnt a lot about how I wouldn’t run a business. I wanted to build a team who were really passionate, while maintaining a focus on the culture of the business. I wanted it to be a fun place to work, where quality and innovation were always held in high regard. Those would be the fundamentals that we wanted to deliver on, and therefore were what we have always recruited on”, Rohan explains.
With a driving ethos of ‘people-driven innovation’, Rohan’s business grew.
“We’ve managed to bring on board really passionate, driven people, who are focused on results. This has enabled us to maintain that culture we had hoped for. We’re very aware of keeping this as we grow, as it defines who we are and what makes us different in the industry. We are mindful that we don’t want to grow at the expense of the culture that underpins our original vision.”
With a highly engaged workforce, Rohan says the team are all hyper focused on delivering the best solutions, working collaboratively and challenging each other.
“We’re always thinking of the wider impacts. We don’t just limit our input to what we do; if we see things that we think should be challenged, we speak up and communicate ideas.”
Rohan’s approach is to ensure that his team have an environment where they have both the support, and the freedom, to learn. He’s implemented a reasonably flat business structure, where everyone has similar opportunities, that are just reflected differently in the roles of a project and their level of experience.
“That means it’s an environment that people like to work in. It’s probably what makes me most proud, seeing people not just contribute to the success of our projects, but developing their own careers too, and knowing that they haven’t worked in an environment that’s anything like this before.”
While Rohan is aiming to grow the team to around 30 staff in the near future, his focus is firmly on ensuring this culture remains.
“At that size, we can consult with the capacity of a large firm, but it means we’re small enough to keep all the things that are great about Blueprint the same.”
Rohan also says that remaining a small team ensures they stay agile in their thinking, and in their operations. “If there’s a decision to be made, we just do it”
This is particularly true when it comes to technology. Blueprint consider themselves early adopters of technology and have invested heavily in software in terms of both design systems and documentation.
It’s just another way that Rohan is committed to ensuring that Blueprint not only delivers cost-effective, high quality builds for clients, but also attracts the best people to bring those visions to life.
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