The software company’s chief executive wants to see more data sharing and collaborative working. He is an admirer of Mace Group and Asian cuisine and wishes he had invested in Bitcoin

Jonathan Hunter, CEO, Elecosoft

Why did you choose construction as a career?

I actually took a technology and business management route into my career, but my passion for property and construction has always been strong. I find it fascinating how you can walk into a property and see how, thanks to somebody’s vision and skill, it has been turned into something unique and fantastic.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

I am extremely proud of building a world-class team of professionals at Elecosoft.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career to date?

Encouraging people to have a growth mindset. Those with a growth mindset are able to embrace change, are curious to find new ways of solving problems, are inspired by the success of others and willing to make the effort to achieve their goals.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

As an industry, we need to be willing to think differently. When under the pressure of managing all the risks involved in a construction project, it requires those who are involved to be brave and not simply repeat the same processes that they used on previous projects.   

We are working with our customers to help them plan their projects, mitigate disruption and deliver their builds on time.  But there needs to be a greater willingness across the industry to share data and work together to reduce delays. Data should only be entered once, then used throughout the project. 

Name your favourite building in the world!

I don’t have a favourite. I avoid having them as each building has its individual features.

But I would favour something that has character and history – anything that has stood the test of time and looks just as beautiful today as it did back when it was first built. The Natural History Museum would be up there, but I still don’t have any favourites!

Elephant Building Bangkok

Source: Shutterstock

The Elephant Building is in Bangkok’s northern business district. It was completed in 1997. 

Which famous building do you most dislike?

I have visited Thailand quite frequently and admire the architecture immeasurably, however the Elephant building in Bangkok has to be my least favourite.

Which famous building do you wish you had worked on?

I grew up in Australia and I wish I had worked on the Sydney Opera House. It is so iconic.  

What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in your profession?

Always remain curious and take calculated risks. It is also really important to seek out a mentor who can guide you as you progress throughout your career.

You must learn from other people’s mistakes, but also must not be afraid to make your own – just ensure that you learn from them. Above all, you must treat everyone fairly and with respect, no matter their level within an organisation. 

Who do you admire the most in the construction industry?

I would say Mace Group, because of the vision of the founders who led a change in thinking by bringing a new, more collaborative way of working in the traditionally combative construction industry. The company is a true pioneer in the industry.

What is it like being you and doing your job?

It is more challenging than others may think! It involves a lot of problem-solving, which is a great bonus for me, as I love puzzles and escape rooms.

Do you have a life philosophy?

That success or failure is about the people you meet, the relationships you forge and the trust that you build. I am half-Japanese on my mother’s side and, in Japanese culture, great importance is placed on building a relationship and mutual respect before any business is discussed. 

What is your best quality?

Remaining curious, being open to ideas and changing the plan if a better idea evolves. 

Name three things you like!

1. Playing professional paintball. 

2. Collecting and building watches. 

3. Piloting drones. 

Early bird or night owl?

I am both. It completely depends on the situation.

What is your favourite food?

I love Thai and Japanese cuisine – and anything with some real spice is right up my street!

What would your superpower be?

It has to be time travel. One place I would like to return to is somewhere in 2009 when Bitcoin first appeared in my inbox. This time I would not ignore it!