Nasmiza Ismail, PETRONAS

1. Please introduce your role at PETRONAS

My role as Head of Products Trading is to lead a diverse group of traders and business development team to maximize value for our refinery products through innovative business building and being in the front line to capture business opportunities within the boundaries of corporate governance.

2. What does your typical workday look like?

A typical work day for me includes reviewing trades portfolio and positions, progressing and directing team in future growth projects, mentoring and coaching team as well as other corporate responsibilities.

3. Women represent growing segment of oil and gas workforce but what are the main challenges that come with being a woman in the traditionally male-dominated oil industry?

The main challenges being women in the traditionally male dominated oil industry is to have to prove to the management that we are as capable as men, if not better, in our role as a corporate citizen. Also at the same time having to prioritize and balance our other roles in society as a mother, wife, daughter and still having time for ourselves.

4. What does workplace innovation look like at your organization?

My organization encourages innovation and it comes in many angles. Given the crude and products supply balance in the region and competition facing the industry, we are constantly pursuing collaborative partnership with organizations that would complement our business and provide growth opportunities both within and outside of the Asia Pacific region. We are also pursuing digital technology innovation is all areas of the downstream business, from process controls and monitoring at our refineries up to products marketing, trading and optimization. The technology is going to provide transparency of information which would allow us to improve efficiency and speed of doing business.

5. How does this impact your customers?

We always promote customer centricity in the organization. With more efficient and transparent data availability through digital transformation, we are able to address customer needs better and it supports our collaborative partnership efforts. Our customers are more satisfied with increased efficiency and it helps us to collaborate in more opportunity areas.

6. What does the subject of digital transformation and IoT mean to your organization?

It means the ‘world is smaller’, increased networking, faster connectivity, speedy access to data and information leading to increased productivity, greater transparency and increased pace.

7. How do you see the role of the Industrial Internet of Things in refining, petrochemicals & chemicals? What are the key benefits and opportunities of using IIoT solutions in downstream operations?

The IIoT in refining, petrochemicals and chemicals is a means to bridge the existing gap in the accuracy and speed of information availability from plants to trading. The key benefits of IIoT to manufacturing would be more efficient and fast reaction to process controls that optimizes production from plants to meet the changing needs of the market. Integration of information flow from manufacturing to marketing and trading as well as logistics, would ensure fast reaction to plant operations fluctuations which in turn would minimize value leakage.

8. What are the current challenges and hurdles that affect the spread and deployment of the Internet of Things in your organization? (for refiners, petrochemical & chemicals companies only)

Current challenges that affect the spread and deployment of IoT includes infrastructure, stability, acceptability in the industry and costs.

9. “Developing diversity across a company isn’t a quick fix but is a long-term business imperative” – please elaborate from your perspective

Developing diversity across a company isn’t a quick fix but is a long-term business imperative. The company must be serious in taking the decision to develop diversity because without proper support and target the objective will not be achieved. It may take more than five years for diversity to gain traction and becomes the way of doing business in companies. Creating diversity in a company is not just about having diverse workforce but may extend to business partners and customers and hence it understanding the way culture works and being able to adapt is very important.

10. In your opinion, what is one of the best ways to attract more women into the oil and gas industry?

In my opinion the best way to attract more women into the oil and gas industry is to leverage on flexibility at the workplace in terms of time, hours and location that would allow then to perform and balance their commitment with include the professional and personal life. With the available digital technology in the industry, I believe that this is doable with the support of the organization.

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