Bongani Motloung, sales manager, retail commercial fleet SA, at Shell South Africa, talks about his role in providing the fuel that keeps industry going.
According to Motloung, the most interesting aspects of his job at Shell South Africa are the different learning opportunities it provides (and the challenges sometimes associated with them). This is an interesting observation, considering he holds a National Diploma and B-Tech degree in Logistics, while his career started in the mining sector.
After six years in various roles at Anglo American, Motloung moved to Shell Petroleum in 2006, where he joined the commercial fleet department as a field base account manager, before being promoted to a key account manager position in 2008.
He has, however, not lost touch with his mining background. In his current position, Motloung is responsible for growing the profitability of Shell’s commercial business.
“It’s a satisfying job overall,” he says. “I enjoy meeting people from different walks of life; learning and sharing knowledge with them.”
This sentiment is indicative of Motloung’s approach to business. “People come first,” he says. “A key aspect is to invest in my team to enable them to reach their full potential. I can only be successful if my team is successful,” he elaborates.
Indeed, Motloung can claim success. During his tenure as a key account manager he has been bestowed with awards including: Global Key Accounts Anglo American; Leading Lubricant Tender for Xstrata Alloys and Coal; Xstrata Coal Fuels Business; and Vedanta-Black Mountain Operation South Africa.
On a day-to-day basis, the job is far less glamorous, though, and involves motivating account managers, identifying hurdles and finding solutions to support them. “It all comes down to driving an alignment between stakeholders to enforce better customer satisfaction,” he says.
Wearing his oil-industry cap, Motloung says that there are certain challenges facing the industry: “There is a rise in fraud and new scams are constantly being developed. This situation can only be improved by working together with banks and customers to come up with solutions by identifying and fully utilising innovative technology to eradicate fraud.”
Despite this, he’s still glad to have his focus on mining and ties to the transport industry.
“It’s all fascinating; the transport industry is the economic driving force of South Africa, and you meeting diverse people from across the country,” he smiles.