5 Questions with an Expert:  Ravi Elepe

December 16, 2021

Ravi Elepe Portrait

Ravi Elepe
Business Development

Coming from a family of bankers, Ravi Elepe chose instead the field of civil engineering - a decision that led him first to Texas and ultimately to HVJ Associates®. Since starting more than seven years ago, Elepe has worked on some of HVJ's largest transportation projects in the North Texas region, including the Cotton Belt Railroad project. Here, he shares the road to success as provided by HVJ.

1.  Starting with some background about yourself, can you share how you got started in this field?

I grew up in India in a family of bankers – my parents were bankers, and even my aunts, uncles and siblings were all in the banking industry. As someone who thrives on challenges, I had to do something different, and Civil Engineering impressed me. After earning a BS in Civil Engineering in India, I went on to earn a Masters Degree at Texas Tech University in 2008. Landing a job in this field was very difficult at that time, so I began as a contract field logger in the Dallas area. HVJ Associates® was on the same project where I was fortunate to meet Fadi Faraj, who is now the Executive Vice President of HVJ's North Texas location. Fast forward, I started my career with HVJ as Field Manager soon thereafter.

2.  Now that you've been at HVJ for 13 years, what's the best part of your current role and what inspires you most in your work?

No matter what job you do at HVJ, client service is paramount. Our purpose is to keep our customers happy and help them get what they need. We can only do this if we first build trust.

In my current role as Business Development Manager, my favorite part of the job is sharing the story of HVJ and what we have accomplished. How we have worked with our clients to solve complex problems and provide creative solutions that seemed almost impossible.

3.  What are the common types of problems that your customers are trying to solve? What do you think draws them specifically to HVJ?

As a Project Engineer, I worked primarily with design firms who are looking for a partner who thinks outside the box. Working off a template does not work for them because they need options with flexibility to make the project fit their budget without compromising the outcome. The type of creativity they need exceeds technical skills and expertise. They need a partner who truly cares—a partner who will listen and take ownership of the final outcome.

Word of mouth travels. We must make sure our customers only have good things to say about us. Technical skills and expertise are very important, but if you don’t listen to the customer and focus on understanding what they really need and want, they will not be satisfied, and your project will not be successful.

4.  What resources or training opportunities have you found to be most useful? What tips do you have for keeping up to date with on-going education?

HVJ is a growing company that makes sure its employees are also growing. The most beneficial training program for me has been an in-house program called “HVJ Wiki," where one can access information on almost anything you would need to know to serve our clients better. Another helpful resource is the HVJ Learning Portal, which is where anybody in the firm can get resources to understand various operational processes that facilitate collaboration. And in this business collaboration is everything!

5.  Can you briefly describe one of your recent projects, and what was most rewarding for you?

The Silver Line Railroad project was a huge $1.2 Billion design-build project that involved at least 1,000 people working simultaneously at any given time. A project of this scale requires an amazing degree of organization, planning, and problem solving to keep it running on schedule and on budget to the satisfaction of our partners and project owner. For me, the best part was the opportunity for learning that came from all the challenges involved.

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think