Driving local projects with a global perspective
To get an in-depth look at what life’s really like on the Commercial side of Shell, we asked Network Delivery Manager, Ingrid Siburian, about how she came here, her thoughts on the business, and what she’s achieved so far.
How did you arrive at Shell?
Ingrid: I was a Product Manager at a mobile telecommunication company before I joined Shell in June 2008. After four years there, one of my close colleagues moved to Shell and told me there was an opening. At the time, I just had my second baby and was really busy launching new offers every five weeks. It was tough managing my time. One thing about Shell that caught my interest was the flexible working policy – and it was one of the main reasons why I jumped quickly to grab the opportunity.
I landed my first role as the Network Planning Team Lead for Shell Indonesia. Then, I moved into the Global Network Planning team in 2011, based in London, before moving back to Indonesia at the end of 2014 to become Network Delivery Manager for a cluster covering Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
I’m proud to lead our high-performing Network team, especially as Indonesia’s become one of Shell’s focus countries. If you look at Shell’s retail activities, everything basically starts with us—and this excites me.
We search for market opportunities, explore potential areas where we could open new petrol stations, look at what the demand from customers might be, both for fuel and non-fuel, and relate all that to our expansion strategy. We do the practical stuff too: creating the master plan and building the new site.
What other teams do you work with?
Ingrid: When we’re planning a new site, we need to know what kind of sales it might achieve. We work with the sales and operations team because they’re used to the day-to-day running of stations and can assess sales potential.
With the integrated retail offer covering fuel and non-fuel, marketing also plays a big role in our planning process – they advise how big a shop should be and what facilities we should look to introduce, such as lube-bays, convenience stores, and even Quick Service Restaurants. Their help is vital, especially when a plot isn’t that big, as we must be smart in maximising our investment and the site’s potential.
We also work closely with the trading and supply team to make sure all our products take the most efficient route to the site.
What’s the best thing about being in a commercial Shell role?
Ingrid: My role – and the work the team does in general – is a great combination of strategy and operation. We’re in charge from end-to-end, from planning and choosing a location, through building the site, and opening. Even after that, we need to ensure the site delivers.
There are opportunities that stand out. You can move anywhere in Shell, globally and locally. Before I joined, I always told myself that one day, I’d experience life working overseas, and that became a reality.
I feel there’s always something new to learn. Every day, there’s a new challenge – which certainly keeps your energy levels up.
Do you need oil and gas experience?
Ingrid: No. The engineering team might need specific skills, but in Network, you become more knowledgeable in network planning, real estate, and engineering over time. We look for natural skills, like your ability to think strategically and to look at the deeper issues when analysing problems and assessing opportunities.
Why should you choose Shell over the competition?
Ingrid: One of the reasons is the unlimited opportunity that Shell offers. If you have the passion, ability, and determination, you can move wherever you want to.
As a mom of two, the flexible working environment really helps. I can work from home if I need to, for example to make sure I’m on time for a parent-teacher meeting. It makes me feel appreciated and helps me balance my work and personal life.
What do you look for when you hold interviews?
Ingrid: Excellence in delivery. I always ask interviewees to explain the way they deliver, how they discovered challenges, and what they did to overcome these. This helps me see how resilient someone is, which I think is a very important attribute.