Case Study: Bhangals Construction Consultants
Bhangals Construction Consultants are award-winning quantity surveyors, project managers and estimators. They work with a range of clients including homeowners, builders, property developers and architects, providing services and assistance through fully bespoke solutions.
The man behind the business? Parm Bhangal. A multi-award winning entrepreneur who’s created incredible success from his philosophy of providing outstanding client service. With over 15 years of experience in the construction industry, he’s carved out an enviable reputation but on top of that, being wearer of many, many hats, Parm’s giving back to the industry through coaching and mentorship.
“I STARTED MY BUSINESS IN MY BEDROOM…”
Parm’s path to entrepreneurship started with an apprenticeship, learning on the job whilst earning so he could head off to university to study Quantity Surveying. From there, he joined a quantity surveyor firm in London but soon enough, realised he wanted to start up his own business – from his bedroom.
“I didn’t really have enough space in my bedroom, so I converted my garage into an office. I was ploughing every penny I had into marketing and PR and getting in front of clients. That really paid off and naturally, the business started to grow. Before I knew it, Bhangals was set up at our current office – just the ground floor initially, but since then we’ve opened both floors and taken on the office next door. So, we’re now four times the size of what we were,” said Parm.
A HUSBAND & WIFE DREAM TEAM
A few years later in 2015, Karen, Parm’s wife, joined the business.
“We’d been married for about three years at this point and I said I’d never work with him, never in a million years! Oh, how life changes…”
With her legal background and experience in property conveyancing with law firm Shoosmiths, Karen was initially brought in to help with admin and recruitment, but as the Bhangals business grew (alongside Parm’s other ventures), Karen stepped up to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and now oversees business growth, planning, finance, and human resources.
“WE WROTE A BUCKET LIST…”
Karen shared, “We went to Singapore and Bali and at the airport Parm bought Tony Robbins’ book. He spent the whole trip reading this book. I’m the one who loves reading, Parm HATES reading. I said, ‘but you don’t read?!’”
“I was never a reader before that book. It’s 400-pages, it’s a big book. I was engrossed, I just had to keep reading it. It was about money management, how to grow your business and setting goals. This trip was the first time as a couple we spoke about what we wanted to achieve long-term – and we wrote a bucket list,” Parm added.
“We said we’d tick off one thing a year. Our favourite so far’s been to fly a helicopter. We also said we’d build our own house, and we’ve done that.”
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE
For Parm and Karen, time’s the biggest challenge.
“I don’t think there’s a bigger challenge,” said Parm. “I might need to stay at work to get an important job done, but that means I’m going to miss bed and bath time. We’ve got an obligation to our clients and as a leader, I don’t want to be seen to be running out the door, but at the same time – I’m a parent.”
Karen added, “We put a lot of time, effort and energy during the first eight years of the business to grow it and work all the hours, and although we still work long hours, you start looking at how you evolve the business and team so you’re not the sole responsible person. You start developing your team and management structure, and how others grow in your organisation – so as business owners, you can start looking at having a better balance in life.”
“THIS IS IT – WE’RE FINISHED…”
Parm’s Wing Kingz business and Parm Bhangal Coaching were new business opportunities revealed by the Covid pandemic. “When Covid hit, I, for the first time in a decade, felt like everything was going to come crashing down. Genuinely, I felt like, this is it – we’re finished. That feeling continued for a few weeks, but then we came to realise that things aren’t so bad, we’re doing alright, and we’ve got money in the bank.”
“PEOPLE NEEDED HELP.”
Parm explains how Bhangals started receiving endless phone calls from clients during lockdown, asking ‘What do I do?’ and ‘How do I inform my clients?’. So he started producing guidance videos for contractors which would answer all their questions. This then developed into business advice coaching on things like improving cash flow.
“I realised there’s a lot of people out there in our industry who really need some help and support, so I set up the coaching business.”
And as for Wing Kingz – the spontaneous restaurant venture that went from securing a deal on a unit to opening its doors within six months. Karen commented, “It was one of the busiest, most stressful times. I was pregnant with our second child and we had all of our other businesses to run at the same time. It was a massive leap of faith.”
Parm added, “It was a big risk but we’ve just launched our franchise and are getting enquiries already. We’re not experts in every single area, but we surround ourselves with the people who are.”
THE BHANGALS TEAM DESCRIBE US AS…
AND THROUGH WORKING WITH US THEY’VE…
✓ Made significant tax savings
✓ Benefitted from sound, strategic advice
✓ Been given HR support when they need it most
✓ Built a long-lasting relationship
FAITH IN TC GROUP
In 2016, Parm set up Azadi Properties Ltd. and at this time needed to make his property portfolio more tax efficient from a structure point of view and ensure it aligned to their longer-term goals.
That’s where the Bhangals and TC Group relationship started.
“Since I met Stephen Watts in 2015, we’ve worked on so many different things together. We’ve been working closely with the HR team and then there’s tax planning, R&D and commercial purchases with the help of their property team – their approach to service delivery’s totally unique,” said Parm.
“The fact they have a dedicated Construction & Property sector team with expertise in our industry was a major stand-out factor for us when we were initially looking to work with a business advisory and accountancy firm – simply because they know the sector and speak the same language. The team’s incredibly well connected, they host sector events, and they’ve been generous in introducing me to some of their contacts in the sector. It’s that kind of ‘above and beyond’ experience we’ve come to really appreciate and value,” he added.
Karen commented, “What we like is that, firstly, everyone’s personable and approachable, and secondly, that we have one place where we can go, where everyone’s experienced in their own field, but able to look at our businesses collectively. Because we have so many individual businesses, and are partners of other businesses, TC Group look at our entire portfolio and advise on pretty much everything.”
“Whatever we need help with, we’ll reach out to the team and they’ll direct us to the right advisor within the business from the appropriate service line. But you don’t feel like you’re handed around from person to person, because everyone’s got a sincere invested interest in the success of your business/es.”
With their growing portfolio, it started getting very difficult for Parm and Karen to manage all of the different pieces. They worked with us to restructure their businesses and now the pair say they look at business in a completely different way. It means Parm and Karen now own 50/50 respectively in all the businesses, they’ve ‘tidied’ everything up, and can now start growing their individual businesses in their own ways.
“They’ve helped us set the foundations so we can look at the bigger picture in terms of how we grow from here and take it to the next level. More specifically, we’ve engaged their Corporate Finance team to talk about how we can grow Bhangals through acquisition,” said Parm.
Karen added, “Essentially what they’ve enabled us to do is have these really open conversations. They’ll invite us into the office to discuss one thing, then as the discussions evolve, they’ll pick out what we might need moving forward. What I like about their approach is it’s never a case of ‘you have to do it this way’. As and when we’ve added new businesses to our portfolio, the team’s always checking in, asking how things are going and being proactive around offering any additional support and advice we might need.
“It’s from those opportunities, aspects like creating a holding company and restructuring how our businesses look to future-proof for succession planning, have been able to happen. We wouldn’t necessarily have known to put our businesses in holding companies, how to structure our property portfolio, and how to make money accessible from different businesses so we can invest in other businesses.”
Parm added, “The other thing’s having access to ‘experts’. If we have stamp duty queries, a tax dilemma – we speak to Debbie and the Tax team. If we have something on acquisitions, we speak to Patrick and the Corporate Finance team. You’re speaking to someone who’s a true expert in their field, not just an accountant who knows a little bit about each of these topics.
“The initial meeting we had with Paula and Patrick, we thought, they’re clearly experts in what they do – they know what they’re talking about. It’s nice to sit there and have an hour’s meeting focused on that one thing where the people you’re talking to have a deep understanding of what you’re looking to achieve. They’re brilliant at gleaning all the information necessary to identify an opportunity – that ‘AHA!’ lightbulb moment.”
Bhangals Construction Consultants have also appointed us for ad hoc HR issues and support to make sure the business is giving its operational management team the best possible training to become even better managers. They tell us if they can avoid it, they won’t hire externally for progressive roles – they’ll try and recruit internally where possible. Many Bhangals team members join as juniors and have a real passion for the business, but don’t necessarily have the right training or skills required. “You can’t teach passion but you can teach the skills needed to grow with our company,” said Parm.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR BHANGALS?
“To keep growing, keep pushing – and the team’s going to help us do that. I want to grow our businesses and brands with our people so they have better opportunities, better lives. Yes, we’re business owners but if I’m not here, the businesses still have to run without us and that only happens with the people who’re sat here, so if we can give them more opportunities and bring them more in line with the business, then collectively, we’ll continue to flourish.”
“THEIR AMBITION’S OFF THE SCALE….”
“I’ve known Parm and Karen for a few years now. They’re very entrepreneurial and growth focused, and their ambition’s off the scale which is great. They both see the value in building long-term relationships; a value we share too.
“Initially they needed some tax advice to support their growth plans, ensuring their tax strategy was aligned with their business strategy. Since then we’ve been engaged in a whole stream of ongoing advisory projects, with our dedicated HR and Corporate Finance teams playing key roles in our service delivery to Bhangals.
“We’re hugely grateful for Parm and Karen’s active participation in our client events. Through these events, our relationship to date, and our affiliation with the Forum for the Built Environment (fbe), we’ve introduced Parm to many contacts in the sector, and this only helps build upon his glowing reputation within the industry.
“We’re excited to see the next phase of growth for Parm and Karen, and what other ventures are on the horizon.”
Stephen Watts, Managing Partner – TC SEM
“THE CONSTRUCTION TEAM’S INCREDIBLY WELL CONNECTED, THEY HOST SECTOR EVENTS, AND THEY’VE BEEN GENEROUS IN INTRODUCING ME TO SOME OF THEIR CONTACTS IN THE SECTOR. IT’S THAT KIND OF ‘ABOVE AND BEYOND’ EXPERIENCE WE’VE COME TO REALLY APPRECIATE AND VALUE.”
Parm Bhangal, Bhangals Construction Consultants