Our People

Get to know our team

Five years at Entec Si

After five years at Entec Si, I have gained so much; a brain full of knowledge, a heart full of memories, and friendships to last a lifetime. Five years feels like an exciting milestone to reflect on and I can’t wait to celebrate more achievements.

In the beginning

I joined Entec Si as a project manager and was quickly launched into the world of consultancy and project management. Earning my Prince2 accreditation at 52 wasn’t something I had imagined I’d ever do. This was a huge leap for me and I’m so proud that I did it – it felt like such an achievement to embrace learning something new.

Alongside this I began working at my first client, East Northamptonshire Council and the Borough Council of Wellingborough. Having worked for 29 years at Birmingham City Council, I was familiar with local government. In addition to this, my project-based mentality helped me to really throw myself into the work.

Within those three years I worked on various projects such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, an ICT transformation programme and a project to transition the two councils to a shared Revenues and Benefits platform, and the implementation of a shared Revenues and Benefits document management system.

I believe my longevity with this client was due to my stakeholder engagement and ability to deliver projects. For me, it is simple: when you deliver good work, people come back. Building trust is an essential part of our work and the best way to do this is by delivering projects for our clients effectively.

How to become the best you

As passionate as I am about my client work, I am just as impassioned about developing our team. I’m a keen advocate for nurturing less experienced members of staff and sharing knowledge with my colleagues to enable them to flourish into the best version of themselves. The combination of project delivery and people development is a sweet spot for me.

As part of our people development, I supported Entec Si to welcome their first ever apprentice! In addition to this, I have also helped to run company away days and workshops focused on developing skills across the team. A memorable workshop was aptly titled ‘how to become the best you’ and I think that sums up my approach towards development.

Feeling valued

After five years with Entec Si, there are too many memories to write about, but a particular standout moment for me was at my first Entec Si Values Awards. The company runs an annual values awards for their team to showcase those who have exemplified the values throughout the year. These are voted for by your fellow colleagues.

In my first year I was honoured to be nominated for all five values (Care, Commitment, Integrity, Versatility, and Collaboration). In addition to this, I won the award for Care and the overall award for the person who had exhibited the values as a whole.

This was a real eye-opening moment. I was able to step back and realise that this was a group of people who recognised me for who I was. Since then, I have won the Care award every year and I’m just as surprised each time!

A network of support

My time at Entec Si has been all about people; developing relationships with clients, creating friendships with colleagues, and learning something from everyone I meet. I don’t know the answer to everything, but our culture celebrates a collaborative way of working and this has allowed me to thrive.

Without Entec Si, I never would have proactively started networking, but having the confidence and support of my colleagues allowed me to explore an area that was new to me. The last five years have been a real endorsement of the confidence that Entec Si places in its team and people.

Ready for the next step

Although I have already achieved so much with Entec Si, there are still so many exciting opportunities ahead of me. As part of the new Operating Model, I’m hoping to mature and consolidate my role. Part of this will be growing and running with key customer accounts whilst working with Sarah Towers to help shape and grow our local government clients. Watch this space!

Meet the consultant… Ben Brown

1. Describe what a Junior Consultant does in as few words as possible

The role of Junior Consultant is flexible and can involve many different activities, depending on the person’s strengths and interests. I spend a lot of my time supporting the wider team and assisting with  different areas of project delivery.

2. What skills do you need to excel in this role?

It’s important to enjoy and be motivated by a challenge. As this is a very people-focused role, being an excellent communicator is also vital. Other good qualities to have are being a good listener and having strong analytical skills.

3. What did your journey to becoming a Junior Consultant look like?

I started out my career in finance, which allowed me to develop my ability for problem- solving. It also gave me some strong project management experience, which was useful for stepping into the world of consultancy.

4. Three words to describe Entec Si?

Collaborative, dedicated and transparent.

The business places a big emphasis on community, for the good of our team and our clients. We’re always looking for ways to improve the way we do things through great teamwork. This is clear from our CSR activity and our unique blended teams approach, where we work seamlessly with client teams to achieve long-lasting transformation results.

5. How does Entec Si support your development?

Having been at Entec Si for four years, I can say that learning and development really is a cornerstone of the business. Whether it’s undertaking business-focused accreditations, like PRINCE2, or working on our personal growth through leadership coaching, we’re always encouraged to keep on learning and growing.

6. What makes you unique?

Having lots of different areas of expertise, as well as having an eye for detail, has helped me to perform in my role and deliver a great service to our clients. From a softer skills perspective, being approachable and friendly has also allowed me to build relationships quickly, whether with clients or Entec Si team members.

7. What are you most looking forward to in 2022?

I’m hoping for a bit of a return to normality! From both a personal and professional perspective, I miss meeting up with people face to face. I’m also looking forward to doing more of the other things I love, like going to concerts.

Meet the consultant… David Fisher

1. What does a Business Support Manager do?

I specialise in strengthening Entec Si’s internal operations, so a lot of my work happens behind the scenes.

I have a diverse role ranging from finance related tasks, legal and contractual tasks to providing IT support. Ultimately, I help to ensure that our team members have everything they need to do their jobs.

2. Top three vital skills for performing your role?

Being organised and adaptable is crucial for excelling in any area of consultancy, as priorities are always shifting.

You also need to be a good communicator, as it’s important to be in tune with a client’s needs and responsive to their requests.

3. How did you become a Business Support Manager?

My career started with an interesting mix of IT project management and business analysis, which gave me invaluable experience and many of the skills I needed to excel in my current role.

After that, I moved into programme management support and eventually began working at Entec Si, which has allowed me to play to my strengths and make the most of my experience.

4. What makes Entec Si the perfect place for starting a consultancy career?

Entec Si places a huge focus on its team members’ personal development. There are lots of opportunities to gain experience across different sectors and everyone has the opportunity to work alongside colleagues with diverse backgrounds and excellent professional strengths.

5. How has Entec Si helped you to grow professionally?

The whole company is inspiring in the way that it approaches client delivery and its people’s development, and this has helped me to think differently. The importance Entec Si places on collaboration and nurturing a positive company culture makes it a great place to work.

6. Something people may not know about you?

I’ve always had an interest in music, and I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 14, although I mostly use it as a tool to relax and unwind. During the lockdowns, I actively tried to become a better musician and focused on building up my knowledge of music theory.

7. Favourite thing about working in Birmingham

Birmingham is a great city! It’s located at the centre of the UK, has a fantastic culture and is a great place for businesses to thrive. There are so many great shops, restaurants and other amenities on your doorstep that you’ll never get bored.

Entec Si gives back

Entec Si went the extra mile for charity in 2021, donating a record sum of over £2,500 to local and national charities.

By far our biggest CSR partnership was with Thrive Birmingham, which improves the lives of vulnerable people through horticultural therapy. Our support included raising funds while hiking almost 2,000 miles as part of the JOGLE challenge and renovating the charity’s Kings Heath gardens, helping them become more accessible.

We also got involved with the Macmillan Coffee Morning initiative, raising £243 for the cause, and the team has also been donating food, toys and clothing to local food banks throughout December. This year, some of our team are also planning to volunteer as mentors for UpRising, which helps disadvantaged young people to improve their employability.

Anna Lane, senior consultant, said:

“We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved in 2021. Supporting the community through CSR days and monetary donations is an important part of our company culture, and with the company itself donating money alongside individuals, we’ve had a bumper year.

“We hope that 2022 will be even more successful, with a number of activities already in the pipeline, including an Entec Si litter pick. Having a team that is willing to give their all for charity is incredibly special and we certainly couldn’t have raised the amount we did without them.”

Four things you might not know about our CEO

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about our CEO, Eman Al-Hillawi, now’s your chance. Here are a few fun facts that cover everything from breakfast to business.

1. She’s the ultimate morning person

For many, 6am is an early start – for Eman it’s a lie in!

“I used to start my day at the very early hour of 5.30am, but nowadays I go to bed a bit later and get up a bit later too – between 6 and 7am.”

She also enjoys a morning run after a light breakfast of cereal with fruit or toast.

“Three times a week, I’ll go for a 5K run before I sit down to start work – I find it gets me feeling energised and ready to face whatever challenges the day holds!”

2. She’s all about planning

Once Eman has sat down with a coffee and got on top of her inbox, she looks at her diary and plans exactly what she needs to achieve during the day.

“I always try to look at my schedule one or two weeks ahead. This allows me to work backwards in terms of my goals for that period and decide what I need to prioritise. In my role, this can change quickly during the week, so I’m constantly reviewing my diary and switching things around.”

3. She loves running, climbing and… flying?

When the pandemic hit, Eman found that running was great at helping her to process her thoughts and relieve stress.

Her talents aren’t limited to the ground either.

“I also do indoor climbing whenever I get the chance. I love the problem-solving element of working out which hand or foothold to move to next. Finally, getting my private pilot’s license is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Being up in the clouds gives me perspective and focus.”

4. Going on HRT has changed her life

A friend’s advice to go on HRT was the best advice Eman has ever had.

“While it’s not strictly business-focused, following a friend’s advice to go on HRT has transformed my wellbeing and had a major positive impact on my performance in the workplace.

“Hormonal issues, especially for women going through the menopause, can have such a major impact on their personal and professional lives. I think it’s really important to break down taboos, let them know that they’re not the only one going through it and that there can be light at the end of the tunnel!”

Meet the consultant… Devesh Punjani

1. In a nutshell, what does a consultant do?

As a junior consultant, I mainly support the client to deliver organisational change. This is usually done as part of a hybrid team, which includes Entec Si colleagues and the client’s internal team.

2. How did you get into the world of change management?

I studied and practiced law in the early years of my professional life, but I quickly found that it wasn’t for me. As I’d always been drawn to working with people and enjoyed getting stuck into lots of different activities, I took inspiration from a friend who worked in consultancy and decided to give it a try.

3. What skills do you think will be vital for the consultants of the future?

Being adaptable is going to become an even more crucial trait for future consultants. Change is always around the corner for businesses, so being flexible and aware of new trends is key to supporting them effectively. It’s also important to have a problem-solving approach to project management and to be honest and open when communicating with clients.

4. What makes Entec Si a great place to work?

Above all, I would say the people. From my very first day, I’ve felt supported and heard, which I think fosters a positive working atmosphere and generally boosts morale.

Entec Si is also unique in the way it approaches development, motivating you to keep growing professionally and personally helping you in furthering your expertise.

5. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since joining the team?

Relationships matter! It’s important to have a positive connection with your team, suppliers and clients.

Another important lesson is that there is no one size fits all solution for projects. The best way to approach a new project is with openness and flexibility; this is key to delivering effective transformation initiatives that exceed the client’s expectations.

6. What are you looking forward to in 2022?

Personally, the highlight of my year will be getting married! We’re going to be making the most of the celebrations, which will include multiple stag-do and honeymoon of course!

Professionally, I’m excited to keep on developing my skills and face new challenges.

7. What was your dream job growing up?

I think it was being a lawyer, but in the end that wasn’t the right fit for me. It just goes to show that sometimes your expectations don’t meet reality.

Let's start a conversation!

Contact us at info@entecsi.com