Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Words from Honorary Member: Anuar Taib, Chairman, Shell Malaysia

Good evening.

Let me begin by thanking both Yang Berhormat Datuk Lee and Ir. Vincent Chin for their kind words. I am honoured.

I would also like to thank IEM Miri Chapter for hosting tonight's dinner and to all of you for joining us this evening. I am especially touched that I am receiving this award in Miri as this is where I began my career as an engineer.

Miri is the heart of Shell's upstream business in this country and has been the starting point of the careers of many, many engineers. It will continue to be Shell Malaysia's upstream base in the years ahead and be the place where other engineers come to start their working lives. Please be assured of this.

My deepest gratitude goes to the Institute of Engineers Malaysia for this Honorary Award. I am touched and humbled to be recognised in this wonderful manner by my peers in the engineering profession. This award also recognises the contribution that Shell has made. Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to a few moments to look back over my career. After graduating from Case Western Reserve University in the US, I was looking forward to starting my career as a newly anointed engineer.

I was offered positions in maintenance and production engineering by several multinational companies. At the same time, Shell offered me a job as an offshore trainee drilling engineer here in Miri, Sarawak. I decided to go with Shell as I was feeling adventurous and wanted to do something different. I have to admit, joining Shell was a spur of the moment decision. I thought I should just give it a try and if I didn't like it, I could continue with my Masters or join another company.

Having now been in Shell for 20 years now, I truly believe that the spur of the moment decision was indeed the right one.

It provided me with the opportunity to live here in Miri and raise a family here. And it has helped me grow and develop as both an engineer and as a person.

It was a very steep learning curve in those early years in wells. From wells, I went into commercial areas - a 180 degree change. Then I was assigned to various jobs from technical to commercial – drilling, projects, contracts & procurement – and served in the USA for a life-changing few years.

Today, I am Managing Director of Sarawak Shell Berhad, the first company to hire me, as well as Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd. I am also Chairman of Shell Malaysia.

I have recorded many highlights but this is definitely one of the major ones because at heart, I am still an engineer. I still think like an engineer and people say I still talk like one as well!
And to be so honoured by my peers in the engineering profession is an indescribable feeling.

Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues.

I am guided by the life philosophy that one must have the conviction to do the things that one wants to do. I believe that the average person with a clear conviction will achieve much more than a smart person with no conviction. But conviction alone is not enough. You must have strong support factors. And one of the greatest support factors is the environment that you work in.  You can grow in many directions. I believe that my MBA – from RMIT Australia – helped me develop my commercial and financial skills, and led me to this point in my career.

But just as, if not more importantly, Shell's focus on career and leadership development has given me the room to grow.  Shell provides an extremely disciplined, structured and yet competitive environment. But employees are also given room to grow and make mistakes. Our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people are excellent enablers, and I found this especially liberating as a young engineers.

I like to be taken out of my comfort zone, and be thrown into the deep end. Shell provided me with that and I believe that was the reason I thrived.
I would like to encourage the young engineers here this evening to think about what you are doing, to approach your work with passion and conviction, to always give yourselves room to grow and to always enjoy where you are today.

Once again, let me thank IEM Malaysia for this award. It is a great honour for me to receive this recognition.

Thank you.

Editor’s Note: It has just been reported that Mr Anuar is to leave Shell to join Petronas as VP/CEO for its Global Upstream Development & Production Unit