always one step ahead of the competition
Bringing beautiful design concepts to life, Olympic Construction builds towards a bright future
The construction sector is booming across the Caribbean islands. Deemed an essential service throughout the height of the global pandemic, the demand for new construction and remodeling in both the commercial and residential fear did not let up.
Quite the contrary, while other sectors slowed down significantly and had to scramble to reach pre-pandemic growth levels, construction continued to build momentum across the islands and this trend is set to continue.
For Olympic Construction, a leading commercial construction firm firmly rooted in the region with 30-plus years of experience under its tool belt, the future looks bright. With impressive projects showcasing its expertise over the years, the construction firm has cemented its rightful position as one of the leading companies in the building and housing sector in the Turks and Caicos.
A family business with deep roots in the Turks and Caicos, Olympic construction understands the specific needs of the region and has designed and implemented commercial projects of varying sizes utilizing its expert knowledge and experienced building practices geared to the local market.
Originally founded by Holton Dickenson who by trade was a merchant seaman, the inspiration for the company was grounded on his vast travels and in particular with the grand ships he witnessed that were aptly named “Olympic Shipping”. Dickenson was inspired by their impressive design and craftsmanship and found inspiration in their name.
The company based its operational model on providing similar craftsmanship expertise in its construction practices and taking the time to bring professionalism and client-focused attention to detail in every building project they undertake.
Today, Olympic Construction is run by Dickenson’s son who has worked tirelessly to continue his father’s vision and company legacy.
“I took over the company in 2006 when the annual turnover was $7,000,” Edwin Dickenson, CEO of Olympic Construction says. “Through hard work, determination, and learning from our mistakes, we now turn over tens of millions annually.”
Dickenson is quick to point out that “ Our business has always been set up with integrity as its very cornerstone, and despite the larger hotel, commercial and governmental projects we now undertake, I still pride myself on owning a full-service construction company that will do everything from simply changing a door lock, to building a multimillion-dollar resort development project or luxury villa.”
As for its master vision, it is simple, Dickenson insists. “Integrity in business, excellence in execution, and service delivery has always been our master vision and this has never changed, only reinforced.”
“I always felt that as long as we maintain these key principles, the company will continue to succeed and grow around our ever-expanding team.
Dickenson argues that other elements come into play to ensure Olympic Construction stays one foot ahead of the competition. Key aspects including good planning and accountability as well as client-focused attention to detail top the list for Dickenson.
As the projects have grown in complexity and scale over the years since Dickenson came to the helm, the need to adhere to these key operational principles has become paramount.
“We are only as good and strong as our team, so inspired leadership, teamwork, and advocacy are all important aspects of the Olympic business model,” he notes. “ Many of our valued team members have been with us since leaving school or college and have matured with the company.”
In the early years, Dickenson highlights that the company concentrated its construction efforts on the Turks Islands. Since this time, the company has rapidly grown and expanded its building reach to the entire Turks & Caicos Islands. The head office remains in the capital city of Grand Turk, however, despite its geographical expansion.
“Providenciales is by far the most developed island and therefore our main center of operations. We now have multiple locations throughout the islands and have even developed on islands only accessible by boat, like Parrot Cay,” Dickenson describes.
Olympic Construction is dedicated to its client base and has ensured that its clients are both varied and represent different key commercial sectors.
“Our client base is all-encompassing and covers every type of client from small private homeowners to luxury villas, to resort development, to private airports,” Dickenson outlines.
“Carnival Cruise Lines and the National Government, for whom we have built multiple schools and offices, are among our clients.” “ We have refurbished the house of assembly, and supreme court buildings, among many others and we are immensely proud of an ever-growing circle of satisfied clients which has resulted in much repeat business and exclusivity with many clients.”
Throughout the Caribbean and among the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dickenson admits that the competition is “extremely fierce.” This does not deter the efforts of Olympic Construction, Dickenson adds, rather it serves as motivation for the company to remain in its top spot within the construction sector.
“I think the key competitive edge that we have developed is comprehensive vertical integration and this sets us apart,” he reflects.
“I have over the years invested profits into multiple new businesses that service logistic and supply chain operations and this has allowed us to not only service our own material and supply chain needs, but to also resell and enter an entirely new retail and wholesale building materials market, often selling bulk building materials to our construction competitors.
“We have nurtured international partners in the material supply chain and progressed to owning our cargo vessels that now operate between three countries; The Dominican Republic, Turks & Caicos, and the Bahamas,” he continued.
When it comes to collaborative efforts, Olympic Construction values every one that it has worked with over the years, amassing a huge list of professional service providers, lawyers, engineers, architects, accountants, MEP as well as subcontractors and materials, and equipment suppliers from around the world.
“Key standouts for us include Engineering Design Services. Peter Kerrigan has worked on many of our projects and we trust his company to undertake the critical engineering work to the highest standards.”
“Legal and contractual matters are also important to us. As such, we have valued our long-term relationship with Misick & Stanbrook, the TCI’s leading law firm,” Dickenson states.
With business in full gear and projects taking flight, Dickenson takes time to reflect on the effects of the global pandemic on his company’s operations.
“COVID created many new and unforeseen challenges- especially in material availability, cost increases, supply chain lag time, and workforce availability,” Dickenson summarizes.
“However, as a company, we have always prided ourselves in our ability to consistently adapt to new challenges. We came out of the pandemic as a more well-rounded and mature company and the steep learning curve that COVID enforced upon us as a business, seriously reinforced our need for contingency planning and mitigation of all future operations.”
Now that COVID’s impact is lessening, thoughts are turning to the future for Dickenson. Pausing to reflect on what may be in store for this year and the next few years, he sums up his predictions based on the scale of the anticipated projects.
“I want to continue to scale our company to service national development needs, but only as long as we can deliver projects to our client’s collective satisfaction.”
“While the growth of the company is an important part of supporting the TCI economy, it can never be at the expense of excellence in service and service delivery while also maintaining our foundation of integrity,” Dickenson elaborates.
Growth is also on the horizon.
“There seems to be no foreseeable slowdown in economic growth which is largely supported by real estate and infrastructural development,” he says. “With our current growth rate, I think in five years we should be suitably scaled and well placed to undertake more national infrastructural development work for the government and private sector,” Dickenson concludes.
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AT A GLANCE
What: A leading commercial construction company leading the local competition
Where: Grand Turk Island