Adept celebrates a decade with mission to keep on expanding

A civil and structural consulting engineering business is targeting sustainable growth as it celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Erol Erturan co-founded Leeds-based Adept just before the recession in 2007 with Matthew Ramsden and Richard Parker. Mr Erturan, who grew up in Turkey, says he has had an interest in the construction industry from a young age.

“My dad’s a civil engineer too so that gave me an interest in the profession,” Mr Erturan told The Yorkshire Post. “He was on the contracting side, while I was more interested in the design side so I went into that line of business.”

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Mr Erturan, who was born in Altrincham but moved to Turkey at the age of five, says his father would take him to construction sites when he was a young boy.

He said: “I remember as a six-year-old he would take me on to a construction site and have me doing some work during the day – helping tidy up the sites collecting nails initially.

“I had an interest in going to sites with him, studying blueprints and helping him cost jobs, so I’ve been quite passionate about it.”

After graduating from Istanbul Technical University, he came to the UK in the early 90s.

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However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Mr Erturan would strike out on his own with Adept, which today has around 30 employees and a turnover of £1.7m. A decade on from its formation, Adept is looking to continue to grow.

“Based on a sustainable workload we would like to take on another five people,” Mr Erturan said. “If we can grow our business to 35 people in the next year I’d be happy.”

He added: “Ultimately in five years’ time we’d like to grow the business to 50 people.”

Adept designs and produces drawings for the structural elements of buildings. The contractors then build off that information.

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“That is nowadays more driven in a digital way so what we produce are digital models rather than old fashioned drawings,” said Mr Erturan.

“That’s led by something called Building Information Modelling (BIM), which the Government is pushing to make the industry more efficient,” he added.

Adept is also looking at other innovations and Mr Erturan says one of its technicians is training to be a drone pilot.

Mr Erturan launched the business after the consultancy that he was at was sold to a large multinational firm.

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He said: “I had this relationship with a number of clients and they’d say we’ll give you, the business that I was involved with, the job so long as you’re involved with it.”

These personal relationships convinced him that launching his own business alongside Mr Ramsden and Mr Parker was the right thing to do. Several of his clients joined Adept once the business was formed. This gave the business a running start in 2007.

While the recession hit in 2008, the company didn’t feel an immediate impact. “We knew there was a recession on but we didn’t realise it until mid-2009,” Mr Erturan said. “When we realised it we thought OK we have to do a bit of business development, networking to keep ourselves going.”

The recession led to the business changing tack and they started actively going out to look for work with and develop relationships with other businesses and other sectors.