with Rozita Mohd Nor, Vice President Asia Pacific & Regional Manager Malaysia – Indonesia – Brunei, AVEVA Malaysia
What do you believe is the main factor for success for AVEVA in this region?
We are customer centric. Even during difficult times, we support our customers in any way we can. From complimentary training in our offices to solving technical issues etc. We believe in customer care and we take time in troubleshooting or finding the right solution for our customers. I guess the customers see that this is important.
Why did AVEVA choose Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia to head AVEVA’s Asia Pacific operations?
The decision for setting up our headquarters in Malaysia was made by Peter Finch, President of AVEVA Asia Pacific Division. When AVEVA first established ourselves in the region we operated from Hong Kong and Japan. We soon realized the regional growth potential of the oil and gas industry here in Malaysia. Coupled with lower OpEx, high skilled human resources, a strategic location enabling us to easily travel to Australia, or Indonesia etc, and good infrastructure; these gave us more than enough reasons to set up our Asia Pacific headquarters in Malaysia. Currently we have 2 offices in Kuala Lumpur, the Asia Pacific Division HQ and a regional office for Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia which I am heading.
AVEVA is present on six continents, and last year APAC contribution was the biggest to the group’s revenue. What is the importance of Malaysia to the group’s revenues?
Last year fifty percent of the AVEVA Asia Pacific’s revenues came from the marine industry, and the rest from the oil & gas industry, in which Malaysia significantly contributed to.
Looking at your financial results, you achieved great successes in 2008, what are the 2009 results going to look like?
Our results for financial year 2009 will be as good as in 2008 if not better. This is commendable considering that some companies may have not even met their 2008 performance. The team has worked extremely hard this year in order to achieve this.
How is AVEVA organized now, and what is your core competency?
We have two main portfolios in IT engineering for the Plant and Marine sector. To meet customer demands for an information management solutions range, we developed AVEVA NET. AVEVA Plant provides solutions for plant designers, builders and operators, and we are mostly involved in the oil & gas industry in Malaysia. AVEVA Marine is widely used to design and engineer FPSOs, floating rigs etc. AVEVA NET complements both ranges by providing information management and project life cycle management solutions. Before the launching of AVEVA NET, our flagship product was AVEVA PDMS which is an extremely straight forward and easy to use design tool. Now that we have AVEVA NET, we need to understand the operations and the business of our clients. That is why today we need to involve more and more consultancy qualities into our competencies.
Malaysia is a very mature market involving brown field development and MMO work. Where is AVEVA’s competitive edge in this part of the asset’s lifecycle?
We have been collaborating with a laser scanning company, which scans the plant where revamp work is needed but there is no digital 3D model available. We then provide the EPC an interface with the system enabling them to get accurate data optimizing their work. AVEVA’s strength in terms of brown field development lies in the cooperation with third party companies, our systems have open architecture therefore are able to integrate with systems from these companies.
What past project can demonstrate AVEVA’s capabilities in terms of oil & gas in Malaysia?
I believe that AVEVA’s development of MMHE’s Integrated Project Management System (MMHE IPMS) would be the most representative of our capabilities in the country. In 2008, we were asked by MMHE to address several ‘islands’ of business such as engineering, construction, project bidding, project management, and change management. With AVEVA NET, instead of working in silos, all data from various MMHE businesses were integrated, improving the processes in their company.
Malaysia is facing lots of challenges in all sectors of the economy, where does this bring the most opportunities for AVEVA?
AVEVA is looking at different industries such as naval defense and nuclear power. The Prime Minister has mentioned that there could be a nuclear plant built in Malaysia. For the oil and gas sector in Malaysia, besides new field development PETRONAS may have have to optimize what they have now. For brown field assets, AVEVA can address efficiency problems by providing them with a robust information and data management system. This would make maintenance and upgrades more efficient and lower costs too.
In Malaysia personal trust and references are really important. Who first trusted AVEVA?
When we started ten years ago, we foresaw the great potential of the sector here and wanted to support its development. A very strict benchmark exercise was commenced by CORAL (Cost Reduction Alliance), an association initiated by PETRONAS and its PSCs to find out which would be the best tools to address their requirements. We were chosen among all our competitors as the recommended tool by CORAL. So I guess you can say that was the first time a Malaysian organization placed trust in us.
What specific products or solutions are you offering to the oil & gas industry in Malaysia?
We have been very strong with PDMS, but AVEVA NET is strengthening its position in the market and is well received by the industry.
Many companies have emerged in the past years in Malaysia to decrease the dependencies on international companies. To what extend has it expanded your business?
AVEVA is not affected by this. Design and engineering work is still needed to be carried out regardless whether it is an international or local company doing it.
And what would you say Malaysia can bring to the rest of the world?
Integrated operations, a concept widely used in Europe thanks to the Norwegians, is not widely practiced here. PETRONAS, and Carigali have started to initiate it here and also throughout their global operations. With a long history in the North Sea oil & gas sector, AVEVA can help PETRONAS in this matter and provide the company resources and technology to be competitive in the global market.
What are your main goals in Malaysia in terms of recognition?
We would like to be recognized as an industry partner in Malaysia Oil & Gas industry not only to Owner Operator but also EPC Contractors. We also strongly support MOGSC and want to contribute to the oil and gas community in Malaysia to help it develop its presence internationally.
Why should investors trust AVEVA in Malaysia?
AVEVA has been in the industry for forty years, with excellent track records. In a normal economic situation we have always outperformed others with revenue from diverse industries.
Where would you like to see AVEVA go regionally in the coming five years?
In Malaysia I believe that we can improve our presence in the onshore market and power industry. I would also want to increase our market share in terms of IRM and project lifecycle management, in order to position ourselves as an industry leader. In Indonesia there is a lot of room for improvement and lots of opportunities, and we can be present not only in oil & gas sector but also in mining, power etc. I strongly believe that I am able to develop those markets through the same path I did in Malaysia i.e. make AVEVA present in 3D modeling tools, then information management. Today, we have many big EPC contractors as clients and they are open for more ideas from us.
What is your strategy for the South East Asia region?
Different countries have different strategies. In Malaysia our tools are widely used in the offshore sector, but we also have plenty of new products that can complement them. So our growth will come from these new products such as AVEVA Instrumentation, AVEVA Multi Disipline Supports, and AVEVA NET. We are offering our clients, complementing products that would enhance their asset value in future operations, in terms of maintenance and upgrades for instance.
What synergies do you see between these different countries?
Language to start with! And a culture that places importance on trust and having a good relationship. Once we manage to establish this trust with our customers, no matter in Malaysia, Indonesia or Brunei, they hold us accountable to our words and actions. So we go all out not to let them down by providing them the best technical support.
Why did AVEVA choose you to head the operations here?
In my previous job, I was a system administrator when 3D tools were introduced for the first time in this country. They were implemented in PETRONAS’ Second Refinery in Malacca. With my mechanical and piping engineering skills, I joined AVEVA. From there on, I helped develop the company’s business and became the regional manager for South East Asia not long after. I believe AVEVA chose me to head this operations because I understand the culture , the business and most importantly the people.
How is it for you, as an engineer, to have a business position?
Thanks to the skills I developed as an engineer, and the knowledge I acquired, I can relate to my clients and understand their needs and struggles. What we are selling is related to what I have worked on before, and working in mechanical engineering has helped me gain tremendous insight. As a company working so close to the industry, having an engineering background helps us to understand customers’ better and this help in our working relationship too.
There are not that many women managers in Malaysia and in Oil & Gas. What would you tell young women graduating and who want to have a successful career as yours?
When I was studying in the United States, I was always surrounded by men in my class. The mechanical engineering course I took at university was very male dominated. I believe I was the only woman. For women in this career it is a very challenging path since this field is mainly dominated by men. But young graduates should not take it as a problem. However, they should not be too demanding at first, take what they are offered and develop their own skills to be more marketable. Today new graduates are looking to get in a company that offers them the most in terms of remuneration and move from one company to another rather than gaining skills and knowledge so they can contribute to the development of the industry. Their degree will not be enough, and they will have to believe in themselves and persevere. I don’t doubt that there are MANY challenges along the way – they should just focus on their progress and deliver good results regardless.
Your business is dependent on human resources, but Malaysia is facing challenges in this field. Why is AVEVA a good place to work in?
We provide our engineers with the right work environment, a good exposure to our niche business, and help them develop the right set of skills. Our engineers also get opportunities to learn from other engineers all over the world. Some of the senior engineers also trained many others in different countries. With these, they can become extremely good and competitive in the market place. The company has managed to attract many young and brilliant engineers, most in their twenties. AVEVA also invites young graduates to train with us. Our graduate and academic programs help build local human capital, ensuring a steady stream of quality graduates are made available to the industry.
To conclude, what would you like to tell our readers about AVEVA’s contribution to the oil & gas industry in Malaysia?
Ten years ago EPC contractors did not have any engineering design tools to deliver their engineering deliverables. By having AVEVA’s system they are now able to compete on the international market. They have accurate deliverables and can work with the giants such as Shell, Exxon etc. This is especially important in this industry given the short delivery time that is needed. AVEVA has helped improve the quality of deliverables by decreasing engineering errors, hence reducing costs during construction. For PETRONAS as an owner operator, we have improved the handing over of data from its EPCS, made data more accurate and readily available for operations, maintenance and future modifications. AVEVA has set the ground for an international development of the industry and given Malaysian companies the engineering tools to be competitive.