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Thu, 07 May 2015 11:34:28
Sri Lanka Caltex unit head speaks for empowering employees at LBR-LBO CEO forum
23 May, 2007 23:20:27
May 23, 2007 (LBO) – Getting all the employees engaged in company decisions boosts employee morale and responsibility, according to the head of Caltex Lubricants, the Sri Lankan unit of the Chevron Texaco oil multinational.
"The biggest challenge for leaders today is taking the right decision in respect of people," Kishu Gomes, Managing Director, Caltex Lubricants told the 19th LBR LBO CEO Forum last Tuesday.

"Good leaders believe good people-strategy is the best one a company can have that can create competitive advantage," Gomes said.

Such management practices create a sense of belonging among company employees which makes them more satisfied and actually leads to improved sales.

Gomes said Caltex, which has a 70 percent share of Sri Lanka’s 45,000 kilolitres per year (six billion rupee) lubricant market, uses all employees as 'brand custodians' to promote the Caltex brand to achieve and sustain higher performance and growth.

The company makes employees interact with customers at grass root levels to gain more insight into the market.

"We use that insight to build new strategies," Gomes said.

Using all employees as brand custodians helps the company's efforts to breakthrough to customers even better than that of professional marketing people.

Gomes explained how Caltex began a restructuring effort in 1994, slashed the number of employees to 120 from 380, keeping the intellectuals, and emerged as a high performance company.

The management grew the company around its high performing staff while labour intensive activities were outsourced.

Gomes said restructuring and a strong business model made the company achieve good results in a market that had international competition.

Caltex Lanka, which is 51 percent owned by Chevron Texaco, shares the lubricant market with Indian Oil Corp., Mobil, British Petroleum and Shell.

Caltex Lanka also exports lubricants to Bangladesh and the Maldives.

"We got the organisation structure aligned to create real customer value and created the right organisational culture where every action by every single employee adds value to the end user,"

High performance companies like Caltex have the ability to sustain or enhance performance over time despite changing market forces, Gomes said.

High performance companies should also produce extraordinary results that extend beyond customer service and shareholder value, he added.

"A high performing organisation is an organisation that constantly innovates and keeps on learning, believes in people’s strategies, adds value to the country which it operates in and has the right ethics and business principles,"

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