Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The recent episode of Leaders at LUMS presented the extremely interesting workings of the oil business in Pakistan. The session, arranged by the Office of Advancement on February 15, 2019, featured Mumtaz Hasan Khan, Chairman of Hascol Petroleum Limited, who inspired the audience with a motivational account of his personal and professional accomplishments. Dr. Parvez Hassan, member of the LUMS Management Committee and a very close friend of Mr. Khan, introduced him to the audience. Mr. Adeel Hashmi, the moderator of the talk, requested Mr. Khan to elaborate on the oil business and share the working model of oil marketing companies in Pakistan.

Mr. Khan succinctly defined the oil business as a combination of four components including exploration, extraction, refining of crude oil and converting it into marketable products like petrol, diesel etc. and finally the marketing of refined products. Narrating the journey of Hascol, Mr. Khan shared a very interesting story. He told the audience that he moved to London in 1980 and started supplying oil from international markets to Pakistan without having any distribution network in the country. In 2004, the government decided to open up the oil market and persuaded by an associate in the oil business, he applied for an oil marketing company (OMC) licence. His close friends in the oil business developed a business plan for him, a pre-requisite of getting an OMC licence. Owing to his vast experience and knowledge of the field, he eventually got the licence in 2005 without much trouble. 

Answering a question about how to establish a company, a big successful venture, Mr. Khan said, “The key to success is to have a team of good professionals, to treat them well, pay them well, give them responsibility and if they perform their job, reward them adequately.” He added that if you have a good management team and a good business plan, execute it properly and there is no reason that you can’t succeed.

Talking about the challenges faced by OMCs in Pakistan, Mr. Khan pointed out the uncertainty in governmental policies as the major factor adversely affecting the business potential in the country. To the interest of young members of the audience, Mr. Khan said that the key to rising up the corporate ladder is to take responsibility, work diligently, not to look for the shortcuts and being sincere with the organisation. 

Mr. Khan’s advice for the youth was to explore their passion and to do what they are most passionate about. He also advised them to join a good organisation at the start of their careers, which offers opportunities to learn ethical practices.

Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor LUMS, thanked the guest speaker at the end of the session for the wise words and admired the generous and open way in which he shared his inspirational story.