Thursday, December 1, 2011
Interview: Mr.Kalim A.Siddiqui
He has served the oil industry to a greater extent and it is his sincerity and hard work that has been serving the Petroleum Marketing Business in an outstanding way. Jewel Time had the honor of meeting Mr.Kalim A.Siddiqui who has proved to be a faithful and an exceptional professional.
JT. Tell us something about your professional background.
I am a Chemical Engineer by profession. I have completed my education from United Kingdom and I have worked there as well. Besides that, I have also worked in USA and Australia. I initially joined Caltex and worked there for almost 20 years. After that, I moved to PSO in 2001 and stayed there for 8 years. I was the Managing Director in PSO.Currently; I am working as the President, Petroleum Marketing in Byco. I was also part of the board of management at PSO and PRL.Presently; I am also a member of Board of Investment (BoI).
JT. What are the areas of operation of Byco in Pakistan?
I am looking after and heading the oil marketing company in Byco. We have redefined the region of Byco marketing two years back. In fact, we have redefined the whole direction. We have then made a vision that we want to be among the top 3 OMCs of the country. We are also trying to expand our retail network. We have given growth to our system on a fast track. Two years back when I joined Byco, there were about 32 outlets but, now we have over 206 retail outlets. These outlets are present in all of the four provinces of Pakistan, covering the areas from Karachi to Azad Kashmir. We are trying to increase this number by the end of this year. We are almost the 5th largest OMC among an industry of 12.However,we were on the 10th position earlier.
JT. Please explain the petroleum marketing business of the company.
We believe in a strong supply chain infrastructure. We are exporting as well as supplying the power. Imported expression is expected to increase. Currently, our turnover of 10 months is over 30 billion. We are building all of our activities according to good supply chain.
Our stations have reached the number of 206.We have started our active workings in Kemari and other areas. Besides that, we have finalized the arrangements on linear basis. There are about 13 operative stations in Karachi and another 3 to 4 will be operative in the next two to three months. We have about 4 to 5 stations in Lahore and the number is expected to reach from 8 to 9.We are trying to bring stations in urban sectors as well.
JT. What are the major challenges faced by the oil marketing companies in Pakistan and abroad?
In Pakistan, the formula of pricing and margin is observed as one of the lowest in the region. An oil marketing company has to build a good infrastructure and there is always the need of good equipments for the retail outlets. We have to monitor the quality and supply of the products. If the pricing and margin structure is not giving out a fair return then an oil marketing company faces many difficulties. Our industry is not completely deregulated yet. The most necessary step is to deregulate our industry. We had to face a major crash in December 2008 due to the overall fall of the oil prices.
JT. How has the current law and order situation affected your company?
Every other day, we have to shut down our business because of the situation of law and order. Many times strikes are being called. These strikes include transport strikes as well as strikes due to law and order. Besides that, supply chain gets disturbed because of the problems faced by the system of petrol pumps.
JT. What are your short term and long term strategies for marketing in Pakistan?
Our eventual goal is to be progressive in the market place; we want to be a major player in the market. Right now, our main objective is to be among the top 3 OMCs of the country. We want to supply the quality product and services to the customers. As far as deregulated market is concerned, consumer gets benefit in a long term strategy. We want to come forward as an integrated player in the long term strategy.
JT. What is Pakistan’s biggest challenge today in terms of growth and development?
As far as law and order situation is concerned, the continuity and the proper direction of the policy of the government are very necessary. These projects are considered as very capital intensive projects. When the policy of the government changes, it effects the investment and business policy of a company to a greater extent. There is a need of a proper and integrated energy policy. Government should focus on a long term vision and should announce a long term consistence policy.
JT. As a major oil refinery in Pakistan, what changes would you like to propose in government policies to assure better market conditions?
The first step which must be taken is to deregulate the whole industry and it should be market based. We should manage ourselves according to the dynamics of the international markets. Consistency of policy must be focused so that people invest with trust and make long term business plans. There is also a need of proper political stability and law and order.
JT. Have increases in fuel prices or other factors like the current law and order situation in the country, hampered future expansion plans?
The present situation is affecting the system of investment for sure. The lack in the overall circular debt is affecting the energy. Besides that, the disturbance in the current law and order situation affects the system of fuel prices which in turn disturbs the whole network of the business. Long term solution is needed in this case.
JT. What are your strengths in the face of such stiff competition?
I think living playing field and a healthy environment is good for a competition. According to me, a monopolistic situation should not be present at all.A competition ultimately provides benefit to the customers. The industry which will provide more benefits, facilities and products to the customers will survive better.
JT. Byco has been chosen as the Best Petroleum Company in the 6th Consumer Choice Awards 2010.What do you think were the reasons behind it and what role has Petroleum Marketing business played in it?
We got this award as we proved to be the fastest growing petroleum marketing company in the very difficult times. We achieved the growth of almost 300 %.We are still the fastest growing company this year. We have been trying to introduce new concepts. As it’s our objective to be a major player so we run our system according to this objective.
JT. Where do you see Pakistan in the next decade?
It mainly depends on the political situations. Pakistan has got very much potential. There is just the need of proper management of the available potentials. If we properly follow the plan of long term benefit then I believe that Pakistan will progress. We have a good market size. Pakistan can never progress unless and until the tax system will be improved. The development of Pakistan highly depends on the political stability as well as the present law and order situation. We should focus highly on the economic policies.
JT. Being a responsible professional, how do you manage your other activities in life?
I believe in proper time management. I like to give time to my social life as well. I try to relax and give quality time to my family in the evening. Other than that, I like to spend some time with my own self.
JT. What message would you like to give our readers?
Pakistan has got very much potential, resources and talent but, unfortunately we don’t utilize such blessings. If these blessings would be utilized with sincerity then Pakistan would become a developed country for sure.