Fuelling Global Communities
With a customer-centric approach, Puma Energy is using COVID as a catalyst for transformation in its people strategy
Writer: Sean Galea-Pace | Project Manager: Ben Weaver
Puma Energy has a clear mantra – customers come first.
This has led the firm to establish three key pillars of the framework: Operational Excellence, Focused Growth and New Business Development with the drive to energise communities.
Its organisational model today consists of downstream, infrastructure and future energies.
This provides better accountability, faster and more focused decision-making and greater efficiencies. Its aim is to intensify and accelerate the implementation of its strategy to become more customer-led, cost-effective and to target resources and investment where it will have the most impact.
Its downstream business operations include retail, wholesale, business-to-business, aviation, bunkering, bitumen, liquefied petroleum gas and lubricants. Its fuel oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, bitumen and lubricants connect communities, countries and industries to global trade networks. Today, the firm has headquarters in Singapore and Geneva, while operating regional hubs in South Africa, Puerto Rico, Australia and Zambia, employing more than 8,000 people globally.
Driving Zambia Operations
Puma Energy Zambia is renowned as the market leader for fuel retail with businesses within the B2B sector for mines, aviation fuels, lubricants and a robust retail network. There are currently four terminals and 58 stations, while being present in three major airports. Puma Energy Zambia provides in-house training with their Puma Academy which is an online portal.
Zambia has undergone significant growth of oil consumption. As such, Puma Energy Zambia is growing its business portfolios within Zambia by providing fuels, lubricants and other oil products to influential clients in industries such as mining and transportation. The organisation is increasing its provision of services to the aviation industry, and is a trusted supplier of avgas and jet fuel in Zambia. Puma Energy Zambia also operates one of the largest privately owned oil products storage facilities within the country and four terminals provide a storage capacity of 24,900m3.
Several Puma Energy Foundation projects were introduced in Zambia, including Alive and Kicking – a social entrepreneurial project for local women who helped stich together over 4,000 footballs that were then sold in Puma Energy service stations. The organisation educates drivers in road safety, while spreading awareness through initiatives such as a road safety radio show in Zambia, supporting national road safety campaigns and using the latest tracking technology to improve driver behaviour.
In terms of sustainability, Puma Energy Zambia has helped the government through the supply of fuels throughout COVID while also working on a Road Safety Programme and running dealer initiatives and supporting the dealers throughout the pandemic. Puma Energy Zambia has lofty ambitions. The firm aims to have eight new stations by the end of 2021. Further, they are seeking to start a fuel delivery service which will set them apart from other retailers.
Indeed, over the past few years, Puma Energy has demonstrated the importance of investing in the long-term and has now developed strong community partnerships based on trust and mutual trust. Its global corporate social investment policy is based around five key topics:
1. Road safety awareness – Reflecting on road safety initiatives across the business and seeking to support projects or partnerships in tandem to its annual Road Safety Awareness campaign, which includes investing in safe road infrastructure around schools.
2. Environment and conservation – Introducing recycling bins across Puma Energy service stations and emergency canal cleaning at its Luanda Bay terminal in Angola. Puma Energy’s CSR strategy reflects its wider environmental effort.
3. Education – Puma Energy invests in training programmes such as apprenticeships, internships and vocational training, with a focus on providing refresher courses.
4. Licence to trade initiatives – Local priorities can be driven by legal requirements. Supporting projects that support socio-economic development, as defined by country requirements or business specific needs, is essential to business continuity.
5. Emergency first response – In addition to its key strategic role in ensuring security of supply, even during disasters, Puma Energy directly supports relief efforts, as well as providing fuel for emergency vehicles.
COVID-19 has meant transformational changes to many aspects of life, while also accelerating and reinforcing trends that have been developing worldwide for some time. The three key ones are: accelerating technology, innovation for customers and flexible working. For Puma Energy, the firm has embraced these changes and transitioned to a more trust-based flexible working model that switches the focus from time spent in a fixed place to value created from wherever works best.
Puma Energy values good people. It’s a key reason why the organisation is driving a positive culture to reinforce Puma Energy’s transformation to a performance and customer-led, agile organisation where going the extra mile for the customer safely and with integrity, working together and delivering on stretch targets becomes the PUMAway. This is built on its robust and distinctive, vibrant, entrepreneurial, fast-paced and can-do Puma Energy attitude.
Puma Energy is committed to ensuring it has the right skillset and capabilities for the business moving forward. To this end, it strives to focus on quality learning and development across all levels of the organisation from senior leaders to retail dealer teams. Puma Energy aims to ensure its people learn and develop quickly, efficiently and enjoyably.
The firm looks for smart ways to make this happen, while making use of technology to allow for consistency, effectiveness and more targeted learning aligned with delivering business strategy across Puma Energy.
Puma Energy is responsible and ensures its staff are always at the forefront of decision-making. The organisation is committed to responsible and ethical values-based behaviour.
This includes treating all its employees fairly and allowing them to develop and progress in an open, collaborative and inclusive culture where all are welcome and encouraged.
Indeed, the firm is proud of its diverse workforce, which reflects and draws from many different local communities in which it works in around the world. Increasingly, employees from local countries are taking senior positions as a growing number of locally recruited talent moves up throughout the company. With 87 nationalities working across 49 countries, ensuring a smooth onboarding process for an ever-expanding team, while inspiring people throughout their careers, has never been so vital. It is a fundamental reason why the firm places emphasis on welcoming people into the Puma Energy family and ensuring they remain motivated and engaged.
Looking ahead, Puma Energy is continuing to invest heavily in training and development for its people, while introducing a new functional training matrix across finance, operations, sales, HR, IT and business support. Puma Energy also offers training bundles that are automatically assigned to all new employees. And, to help people progress through the organisation, Puma Energy has introduced a standardised approach to succession planning whereby high potential employees are identified and supported with individual development plans and assigned a mentor.
To Puma Energy, remaining an employer of choice for talented graduates is the key ingredient to long-term success.