Shell Lubricants APAC, Mansi Madan Tripathy weather through recent turbulence in energy sector

Tripathy advocates for sustainable business growth and a highly empowering leadership approach.

The past years saw the challenges to the energy sector brought by the pandemic and the ongoing geopolitical tensions. This occurrence has caused disturbances in operations, as well as issues in servicing clients.

Some of the concerns amongst industry players and customers include supply, rising commodity prices, and uncertainty in the environment.

Whilst most companies had to adapt to overcome the challenges and get used to the new ways of working, Shell Lubricants went the extra mile by growing faster than most market competitors and sustained its leadership in Asia Pacific by being resilient and keeping all aspects of its value chain in check.

For Shell Lubricants APAC, the success factors of effectively managing its supply chains have been anticipation and mitigation of challenges, clearly defined allocation principles, and a cadenced approach to minimising risks.

Moreover, it adopted a dynamic cost and price management system to ensure that its business still grows, and to address market-wide concerns over rising and fluctuating costs of raw materials and commodities.

The economic uncertainty also provided an avenue for the team in Shell Lubricants APAC to experiment with new ways of selling and delivering products to its customers. With great teamwork and partnerships with customers and partners, they managed to grow its volumes by 18% in 2020 and 11% in 2021.

This achievement would not have been possible without the leadership of Mansi Madan Tripathy, Vice President of Shell Lubricants Asia Pacific. Her vision for the company advocates for sustainable business growth and opts for a highly empowering leadership approach that rallied the team to deliver exceptional business performance.

Tripathy believes that many developing nations in the region are still hindered by inadequate grid systems and unsupportive policies and regulations, as well as insufficient government budgets.

“At Shell Lubricants, we continuously explore and develop solutions that aim to improve the sustainability of our products, whilst also meeting our standards for high-quality performance rooted in world-class technical expertise and collaboration with our customers across sectors and industries,” she said.

Shell offers high-performance lubricants which have high efficiency and a portfolio that is carbon neutral. It was also able to deliver differentiated services that offer more efficiency for customers, and introduce waste oil management as a new service in key markets in the region.

Moreover, Shell Lubricants APAC reduced its carbon intensity by 33%, compared to the 2016 baselines in scope one and two emissions through energy efficiency initiatives – highlighting its commitment to this sustainability journey.

Tripathy enabled the company to become even more successful amidst the challenges in the energy sector. Shell Lubricants APAC remained the market leader with a 9% market share, the highest ever volume, whilst the market was only growing at about 1.8% compound annual growth rate. With improved indirect business penetration of 15%, the company is growing the premium part of its portfolio by 17%.

To look at ways to improve productivity, she also implemented digital solutions and predictive tools to ensure end-to-end visibility and enhance decision-making processes, as well as real-time services that can optimise operations. 

Shell’s vice president also led an impactful employee engagement approach. The top quartile employee engagement score went from 79% in 2021 to 83% in 2022.

“By ensuring our people are always growing personally and professionally, and that they are always inspired, enjoy the challenges, and learn through the process, this translates to our customers having the best time working with us,” she said.

Tripathy added that Shell recognises the value of employees. She personally believes that a motivated workforce or team is a critical driver of success for the business. “It is especially important for us to take care of our employees’ well-being as engaged employees actually care about the work they do,” she said.

Some of the employee engagement activities and initiatives include prioritising mental health as an important aspect of her conversations with her staff, understanding employees’ working habits, career goals and motives, upskilling and enhancing capability, high engagement, and simplifying key processes.

Having joined Shell for over a decade, Tripathy already witnessed fundamental shifts in the industry and understood how energy is vital in powering economic growth. She noted that with the energy transition firmly underway and the growing emphasis on tackling the impacts of climate change, energy firms, sectors and consumers need to work hand in hand in developing future energy solutions.

“As customers are at the core of what we do at Shell, this serves as great motivation for us to look at new innovation and solutions to address the energy needs of today and tomorrow,” she said.

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