Five Minutes With: Benoit Dubarleby Arabian Oil & Gas Staff on Dec 12, 2016
What is your role within the company?
As President for the Gulf Countries & Pakistan, I oversee the company’s mission to be a leader in the energy management and automation space across these geographies. I have been at Schneider Electric for nearly 20 years and held several managerial positions during this time. In some of my earlier capacities with the company, I was fortunate enough to work across diverse locations like France, Hungary, Poland and Cameroon. I bring my experiences and learnings from these markets to the Middle East region, which is currently at a very interesting stage of growth given its focus on sustainability, investments in renewables and commitment to creating smart cities.
How did you find the oil & gas market in the last 12 months ?
We cannot deny that the falling price of oil has had a considerable effect on the industry. However, as the region diversifies its ‘energy mix’ and governments reduce their dependence on oil, we see more opportunity to expand our reach in the region. This goal was further stressed in the Paris COP21 last year. At such a time, we see energy efficiency solutions as a major value-add in the transition towards renewables and smart energy management. We thus remain optimistic about growth opportunities in the region.
Has investment in technology been affected in your view?
As the Middle East looks to diversify away from oil commodities and address the high energy demands in an efficient way, we will see investments in energy efficiency projects across the MEA region, particularly in the GCC. Given the fact that industries are realising the importance of optimising energy usage now, more than ever before, we are witnessing significant demand for smart technology-based solutions. Our commitment to leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) and adapting existing solutions to this game-changing technology is another in which we are staying competitive and innovative.
What are some of the main challenges in your job, and how do you overcome them?
During grim economic times and due to a lack of awareness, we sometimes find it a challenge to convince the customer to invest upfront for an energy efficiency solution, even if the payback period is very short. It is an ongoing effort to educate business leaders, CIOs, CFOs and tech experts to be more flexible with annual budgets in favor of long-term benefits of implementing smart solutions. We overcome this challenge by constantly communicating with them on market trends, technology and the role of innovation, which yields high ROI and is also environmentally friendly in the long run.
What is your biggest passion?
As a business leader, my biggest passion is offering energy solutions which contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint, and contribute to the COP 21 commitments. As a manager, I enjoy working closely with various teams, helping them develop valuable skills and know-how, while giving them the opportunity to succeed and make the most of their potential.
What motivates you to go to work every day?
The fact that we are creating solutions that will make this world a better, greener, safer and smarter place for us and our future generations to live in!
What have you got to say to every energy professional out there worried about the future of the industry?
Global energy professionals must pay heed to today’s urgent needs and understand the economic environment in which they are operating.