Chalemera, 31, is associate director at Turner & Townsend

What has been the hardest challenge you have faced to get to where you are now?

Building credibility has to be the top challenge for any graduate entering the QS industry. During the early days of my career I felt I had to work twice as hard to convince people of my potential. I’m not complaining though as that experience tremendously helped me be more determined to succeed!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

Retired on a beach in Mauritius sipping on a lovely cocktail! OK, back to reality! I would like to be a senior member on the board of directors and company shareholder.

Where do you see the construction industry going in the next year, three years and decade?

In the next year: with the impending further public sector cuts, a slowdown in construction activity is certain.
In three years: focus on asset management and renewable energy projects, particularly offshore wind.
In a decade: an increase in infrastructure projects (with increased global focus on new emerging markets), carbon reduction and whole asset management services

What has been your career high point so far?

Winning the inaugural QS News Young Achiever of the Year in 2005 has to be up there as that was the catalyst for all my other accolades in the industry. Also, being selected to join the Chairman’s Group at Turner & Townsend was definitely a career high for me - an honour and privilege.

And the low point?

That would have to be when I worked as a telesales agent selling timeshares disguised as holidays to unsuspecting customers. Needless to say, I quit after one week and never returned to collect my pay!

Who is your hero?

Anyone who can live in the same house for 25 years and counting gets my vote - so that would have to be my parents! They are the most humble people I know and have made me who I am today (cheesy, but true).

If you could take one thing with you to a desert island, what would it be?

A solar-powered mobile phone with internet access. I can use it to email / call for help and also access fish recipes and survival guides online.