Where Values Come First

Tomar Construction Group

Tomar Construction Group is a contractor that takes its social responsibility just as seriously as it does its business. Headquartered in East Brunswick, New Jersey, it has field offices throughout New Jersey, including Newark and Woodbridge. This big-hearted trendsetter chooses to do what is right over earning profits in a consciously unconventional approach to trade. Company President Thomas Mottackal shared a few of his insights and thoughts on the company’s contribution to the industry and current market trends with us.
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Tomar Construction Group is particularly popular for the construction of wastewater treatment facilities. The company’s remarkable portfolio of completed civil construction projects and other plant-related work stands testimony to its great relationship with municipalities and local government in the greater New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas – with a small percentage of its work based in the United Arab Emirates and India.

When it comes to the high-powered world of trade litigation, Tomar Construction Company chooses to abstain. With its non-adversarial business approach, this firm is a business partner with a strict zero-tolerance policy towards legal conflict. “We don’t take anybody to court,” says Thomas. “Our clients’ confidence in our work and in our business practices has led them to qualify us for jobs – within the framework of the law – many times over. Clients are always welcome to talk to me.”

Therefore, while being the lowest bidder is a very big deciding factor in awarding contracts, the company’s history of good faith continues to stand it in good stead, and for this team, quality work and integrity have always meant repeat public contracts. While building and rehabilitating wastewater management systems form the bulk of its local projects, the company also builds hydro-power plants, marinas, bridges, pump stations, solar projects, and other general contracts, while its two sister companies focus on constructing and managing theme parks and large stadiums abroad.

One of the company’s greatest strengths is how it controls its resources. After a few frustrating years of the company being let down by contractors, it has developed an extensive collection of in-house services – including an in-house electrical division and a mechanical and metal fabrication division – that ensures that its quality is always the best and that deadlines are honored without exception. Today, it only employs a handful of carefully-selected, trusted specialty sub-contractors, and thanks to them and its just-over-seventy team members, its projects have never gone more smoothly.

Mottackal feels strongly about the importance of responding positively to market demands, because of the support it affords local and national economies. “Eight or nine years ago, when unemployment was eleven percent, and many companies were laying off workers, we did not follow suit. On the contrary, Tomar Construction Group hired more people,” he says.

Today, the industry is facing an unprecedented skilled labor shortage, and Thomas is of the opinion that hiring skilled foreign labor could be the solution to the deficit. “If we could bring tradesmen from overseas to do the work here in America, our country would get the taxes generated from that work. I want to meet the needs of my country,” says Thomas.

He feels very strongly about protecting public interests and proudly tells of a whopping $50,000,000 saved by taxpayers when the company won the lowest bid on a municipal contract. “That was how much more the next lowest bidder had come in at,” he says. From Tomar Construction Group’s perspective, being a low bidder that provides quality service helps to curb overspending on public services both during the installation and in the maintenance of such facilities.

While profitability is the primary motivation of business, Tomar Construction Group is strongly principled about how it generates money. Ethics are a necessary part of its business ethos; the company refuses to make profit through litigation, cheating, disowning those who have been of assistance, or doing anybody wrong. “While these principles don’t always work very well everywhere in the world, we live in a beautiful country where we can do successful business upholding these values,” says Thomas, who founded the company in 1998.

Born and educated in India, Thomas moved abroad after leaving the Indian Air Force. He then lived and worked in several countries, mainly as an electrical engineer, spending some time in Europe and a number of years in Africa, before deciding to settle in the United States. His travels gave him a global perspective of how business is conducted in different places, leading him to the decision that employees should be treated like family despite the liability that often comes along with such a responsible gesture. However, for Thomas, it was always worth the effort, and as a result, the team works unbelievably hard to give customers the best service and value.

The fact that the company uses its own, well-equipped in-house fabrication and manufacturing facilities to deliver reasonable solutions and sterling service is a benefit of being a Tomar Construction Group client. Its approach has spurred phenomenal growth over the years. As it grew bigger, what eventually gave Thomas the courage to bid on larger projects was his faith, he says. Deciding whether or not to bid on a project is always a faith-based philosophical process, for him.

Here, faith is the assurance of the unseen, and when a faithful person goes into business, Thomas believes that profit can be assured. “It is invisible and neither certain nor guaranteed, but as you move forward, you become more and more encouraged,” he says. The company started taking on ever-larger projects, eventually becoming the international stalwart that it is today.

The team is especially proud of its relationship with Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, for which Tomar Construction Group has completed around $70,000,000 of work to date. The amount is most certainly indicative of how much the partners enjoy working as a team.

It has also received multiple community awards for its good work for municipalities as well as for the environment. When it comes to supporting its community, the company works with college youths by helping them to get accepted for internships and by offering engineering training. There is a strong focus on building up these young people’s values beyond the profession because the team believes that the values that are taught today will decide the company’s future.

A lack of common sense in today’s world is a major hindrance to independent thought, especially professionally where making decisions is often prohibited by those in authority. Tomar Construction Services celebrates and encourages the application of initiative, common sense, and decision-making as these traits render individuals more responsible, creative, and in need of less ongoing support.

In a self-sufficient firm where everything that can be produced in-house is produced by its team, one can understand the need for and value of team members with a sense of independence within the greater whole. Of course, its ongoing training program helps to contribute to this company culture of doing what is right.

When it comes to market changes, the company would ultimately like to see some level of labor reform where the American economy benefits from taxes generated by local jobs, since much talent is currently being outsourced from abroad due to the skills and labor shortages in the country. In the meantime, the outfit has its heart on increasing its annual turnover to $100,000,000 over the next few years. With its strong convictions and dedication to honoring its core values, faith will no doubt conquer all with this committed team leading the way in New Jersey’s public construction works.