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TheEdgeDaily (Malaysia): Saw wants all locals running Shell Malaysia

Saw Choo Boon

Shell Malaysia chairman Saw Choo Boon) 

By Alfean Hardy

Shell Malaysia chairman Saw Choo Boon sees the main challenge in promoting growth of the company as coming from the development and motivation of its local workforce, and preventing complacency from setting in.

He said among the challenges he faced in ensuring growth was in people and talent development, particularly for Malaysians.

“How fast we can train Malaysians is a concern; we want to do it as fast as possible. I would love to see this whole business run by Malaysians,” he told FinancialDaily.

Saw was speaking recently after his first 100 days as the chairman of Shell Malaysia. He is only the third Malaysian chairman of the company in its over 100 years’ history in the country.

He said Shell Malaysia would have to ensure the country remains the preferred partner in the Shell group in the face of competition from China, India and the Philippines.

“We now have seven service companies here. We have managed to make Malaysia a major service support location for Shell, which is line with the government’s drive to make Malaysia a major service support location,” he added.

The seven regional and global hubs are Shell Global Solutions, Shell People Services, Far East Learning hub, Shell Shared Service Centre, Superkad, Shell Retail Academy and the Shell Information Technology International centre.

“Shell, having been in the country for so long, has grown to be a relatively large company; (and) maintaining the viability and profitability of the company becomes more and more challenging,” said Saw.

“More important is the need to grow Shell Malaysia; any business that does not continue to grow can be exposed to the danger of extinction.

“The company cannot be complacent and only remain at just one level; you have to keep on moving,” he said.

Saw said Shell Malaysia also wanted to grow its exploration and production activities.

Without elaborating, he said the company was also looking to grow its participation in the liquefied natural gas and middle distillate divisions.

“In the downstream, we will continue to invest but more importantly, we will come out with more and more new offerings for the customers.

“We have to continue to improve and provide what the consumer wants to defend and grow our market share.

“We are number one now with a 36% market share and about 800 stations but we have formidable opponents, particularly Petronas, which is getting better every day.

“They are number two and they are a most formidable opponent that we respect highly,” he said.

On rising costs, Saw said: “What we can do is be more efficient in the use of the commodity, be more efficient in the management of a project; we do it with minimal wastage and that’s what we have to focus on.”

He also said Shell Malaysia would continue to place the highest priority on good corporate governance as well as corporate social responsibility. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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