Iconic building team standing in front of garage talking about safety

Hass Dandachli and his brother Moses got into business together around four years ago, subcontracting under a larger contractor in building repairs and maintenance works on the South Coast and Nowra regions in NSW.  

When they saw an opportunity to submit their expression of interest to work directly with Ventia on our Land and Housing contract in Western Sydney, they jumped at the chance. And so Iconic Building Company was born.  


Growing their business 

With the volume of work available to them, the brothers grew the company from two employees to 14 in one year, which in itself was a challenge given the construction boom at the time meant very few tradespeople were looking for additional work.  

"It's expensive to grow your business quickly," explains Hass. "The recruitment process itself costs money, plus we were also providing tools and vehicles and all the insurance and registrations that went along with that. You also need to commit time to training them up and making sure you are providing them with what they need to succeed."  

One advantage Iconic Building Co. had was Hass' background in accounting, and his willingness to learn.  

"I came into this business with an accounting degree and Moses has an electrical background, so between us we had good knowledge and skills to build a facilities maintenance business," Hass says.   

They chose to focus on facilities maintenance as they knew there are a lot of government assets out there, many of which are aging, so there would always be jobs for a company of hard workers.  

This year, Hass and Moses are undertaking studies along with their full-time jobs. They are both enrolled in a dispute resolution course and will also complete the NSW government's GC21 standard form contract training. This is a one-day course designed to help subcontractors and suppliers to understand the GC21 contract used for government construction works valued over $1 million. Hass is also looking at an estimation course, and Moses recently completed his Cert 4 in Construction.  

There are constant changes in this industry, so it's important for us to keep our knowledge and skills up.


A culture of safety first 

As their business grew, Hass and Moses needed to introduce a robust and sustainable approach to safety. They ensure all new employees are well inducted, to ensure when they go out on a job they are confident and capable of doing it right, and doing it safely.  

Man demonstrating safe working at height practice with rope

Pictured: Iconic Building Company encouraging safe work practices in their team. 

"We promote the process of doing a 'take 5' before starting a job," Hass says. "And I talk to the team about trusting your gut. If you don't feel good about a situation, stop work and reevaluate and make sure it's safe." 

Hass acknowledges there are many elements to creating and maintaining a culture of safety, and it includes factoring in fatigue management, making sure his people are taking regular time off, and taking pride in their uniform which includes the correct PPE.  


Working with Ventia 

Hass says the support they received from Ventia has been key to a successful outcome and that working with a large organisation like Ventia has benefited his company and changed the way he thinks about running and growing a business.  

"Ventia has processes and procedures in place for a reason," Hass says.

And they've put a lot of effort into supporting subcontractors like us to help us succeed. Not just in safety but also in the commercial and procurement space.

The brothers intend to grow their current team of 16 by 30% by the end of 2023, ensuring though that they have the right structure in place to support that growth.  

"We've hired an HR professional into the team to help us do things right," he says. "I believe in controlled growth, we won't say yes to everything." 

"We aim to become an employer of choice in this field." 

Hass is also proud of the efforts they make to provide opportunities to young workers and those from other countries.  

"We are hoping to take on a 16-year-old Aboriginal apprentice in March when he starts at TAFE," Hass says. "He's done some work experience with us on a job in Wattle Grove, learning how to do retaining walls, some fencing repairs and removal of a tree causing issues with the stormwater drains."  

I hope he learns just how different any day can be on the job, you never know what you could be doing the next day. I also have some great employees on the team that I think would make good mentors for a young apprentice. 

Watch this space, Iconic Building Co. is going from strength to strength!