Building operations by bringing people together
To get an in-depth look at what life’s really like on the commercial side of Shell, we asked VP Sales – B2B & Mining Shell Lubricants, Andri Pratiwa, about how he came here, his thoughts on the business, and what he’s achieved so far.
What’s the best thing about working for Shell?
Andri: You can make an impact from day one. Shell is one of Indonesia’s most reputable brands—the market leader in the lubricant business. When you say you work at Shell, doors open for you.
The company’s focus is on creating a better future by finding more and cleaner energy solutions. We collaborate with key stakeholders, such as universities, as we explore ways and solutions to tackle future energy challenges. We support global competitions too, like the Shell Eco-marathon that encourages students to get involved in finding alternative cleaner energy sources, which can fuel our future.
Shell is also open to diversity and inclusion. The business provides equal opportunity for both male and female employees to progress-and we encourage gender ratio thresholds at levels in the organization.
We have different ethnicities and cultures in Indonesia that contribute to different ways of thinking, enriched ideas, and become our source of strength in enhancing innovation and improving performance—and this is key when you consider how diverse Indonesia is. Shell goes further than simply giving opportunities. We celebrate what diversity can do as an enabler for the business.
How are these commercial roles valued by the business?
Andri: Indonesia has become one of five focus growth countries alongside China and India, and everyone here is motivated and proud to have had a hand in that achievement.
We’re equally proud to be helping Indonesia’s businesses improve performance through our products and services. We not only supplying our customers with lubricants, but also building a reputation as a partner that helps them increase productivity through our Value Improvement Program.
Our most prominent mining customers, for example, have saved millions of dollars in the past and successfully improved productivity. In power, we also launched a breakthrough product using gas-to-liquid technology to help reduce the carbon footprint. It comes back to our ability to think about the future.
Do you need industry experience?
Andri: I don’t think it’s mandatory, particularly when we look at the downstream business. It’s about commercial thinking. We recruit people from various industries – anyone who’s ambitious and commercially-minded.
In fact, it’s often better to look further afield. That way, we get insights on different points of view and approaches that we can test, integrate, and embed into our methods to enrich our CVP and eventually win the market.
Which of Shell’s employer values most reflects your role?
Andri: ‘Win together’. A decade ago, we were only a small player in the mining sector and now, we can say that we’re a dominant player and still growing, as well as in other key sectors. Everyone here knows it’s a joint effort. Our technical, marketing, sales, and supply chain teams are brilliant together, and it’s recognized by senior leaders.
What skills are important to your area?
Andri: Soft skills are important in Sales. People have to be positive and eager to learn, which will help strengthen the collaborations our success is built on – and what we look for most.
Leadership is absolutely the key to boosting people’s engagement and eventually their motivation. In addition, the ability to remain composed, with the persistence to get things done is fundamental, brings the best out of colleagues and helps us rise above expectations.
Then, of course, there are more specific skills required in this area. There’s selling and negotiation, a deep understanding of how our Customer Value Proposition balances price vs value, knowledge of Channel Management, Key Account Management, financials and, equally important, the ability to coach skills and develop into a strong Sales Leader.
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