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Q&A with Mukul Soul

Q&A with Mukul Soul

What is your role?

As Country Director of Australia, I oversee Driver Trett’s Australian Business.

How did you get into the industry and how did you get to where you are today?

Initially, I didn’t have my mind set on a specific career, so I enrolled in one of the most diverse courses: a double bachelors in Engineering & Commerce. During my time at university I became more inclined towards engineering, however maintained a strong interest in commerce. On graduation, I ultimately accepted a graduate Planning & Project Controls role as the associated workload, responsibility, and career direction appealed to me the most. Due to the passion that subsequently grew in planning, genuine interest in the projects I worked on, hard work with an outcomes-based focus, and exceptional support from well-wishing family, mentors and peers, I’ve been able to rapidly progress my career. I was managing the planning of minor projects (<A$100m) within my first year in industry. By the latter stages of my second year, I was appointed as Lead Planner on a major construction project (>A$500m) where I was able to get my first taste of large team management and site/international rotations. Following the successful completion of this project, which was delivered in record-breaking time, I got the opportunity to become Lead Planner on a A$10billion project which involved overseeing 64 integrated programmes of work on behalf of the Owner. This diversity allowed me to rapidly excel my expertise in the discipline and gave me a formal introduction to forensic delay analysis. The project was a success, receiving 14 awards including Project of the Year, and excellence in Project Management. Following this project, I went on to become Planning Manager for a major construction contractor, however as I grew a desire to become a Delay Expert and wanted to further diversify myself by adding value to multiple projects, for multiple companies across industry; I joined Driver Trett as a Senior Consultant. Within the three years that I have been with Driver Trett, I have been promoted to Associate Director, Director, and most recently Country Director.

Again, I attribute this to the items mentioned earlier (passion, interest, hard work, focus and  support). Solving clients’ problems has brought me repeat work. This repeat work has brought recognition and respect in the industry which has resulted in reward.

Who has been the greatest influence on your career?

I cannot specify a single individual as there have been many great influences in my career. I can summarise them into three distinct groups:

  • Family: I have a very supportive family that have always motivated me to achieve my best, and given me that little over-confidence that is at times needed to break barriers.
  • Management: I have been fortunate to have some incredible managers (leaders) who have guided my growth, taught me the skills I have today, and directed me towards how to succeed further.
  • Industry: I actively seek predecessors in my field who have ‘done it’. With entire respect to their accomplishments, I set them as benchmarks and aim to better what they’ve already proven to be achievable.

What has been the best moment of your career?

I believe in celebrating every accomplishment and failure equally, as they ultimately contribute to the end destination. My most recent accomplishment, however, of being considered and subsequently appointed as the new Australian Country Director for Driver Trett, was a very special moment in my career. 

How have you found taking on a new role during lockdown?

Not too bad to be honest. COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns were unprecedented times for all. However, the best thing about humanity is that we find ways to turn constraints into opportunities. Through the use of technology, I found that not only have I been able to maintain communication with those near, but I’ve actually increased how much I communicate with colleagues and prospective clients across the nation and globe.

What makes you tick?

Achieving results makes me tick. Other than that, I’ve always drawn inspiration from race car driver Mario Andretti’s quote, “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”

 Tell us a little-known fact about you.

I’m of Indian descent, was born in Kenya, and moved to Australia when I was 6. I’m highly passionate about travelling and experiencing all the differing cultures and experiences the world has to offer – travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Otherwise I have an unexplainable obsession with lions and support the best football club in the world, Liverpool FC – YNWA. 

We caught up with Mukul for this Q&A as part of issue 21 of the Driver Trett Digest.
To view the publication, please visit: driver-group.com/digest-issue-21


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