Full name: Ahmed Alaa
Job title: Sales and Account Manager
Joined Aubin in: July, 2017
1. Tell us about your role - what does it entail, and what does an average week look like for you?
“I am the Sales and Account Manager in Aubin’s Dubai team, and I’m responsible for developing and maintaining long term relationships with key accounts in the UAE and Middle East. I also set sales targets, making sure they align with the company’s objectives, attend monthly sales meetings and present findings to senior managers.
“In an average week, I’d say around 60% of my time is spent working with customers in the Middle East, mainly Oman, to maintain positive relationships, attend regular meetings and make sure they are fully engaged. My job is about listening to my customers, and working out how we can deliver solutions in a timely manner.”
2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
“The communication part is definitely what I enjoy most. Communicating with people from different roles and backgrounds has always been something that I’ve been good at, and I love spending time with customers and representing Aubin at the conferences both nationally and internationally. I’m so glad I moved from field work in my previous role as a drilling fluid engineer, to a more people-focused role here at Aubin - it was the best decision I made.
“I also enjoy that there is always something new - new challenges to solve, new players in the market or new clients.”
3. What has been your favourite place you’ve travelled to with work? And what did this piece of work involve?
“I would say Oman, as it’s a very peaceful place with lovely people. I’ve also made some good memories there.
“A lot of my biggest achievements have been in Oman, including one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on since joining Aubin. This involved moving a service company from a project basis to a contract basis, which is now worth over $2million per year. I’m very proud of this.”
4. What is your favourite product or project you have worked on, and why?
“AXI-Zone has been my favourite product, because I was responsible for starting to market it in the Middle East and North Africa. It involved a lot of work behind the scenes, such as developing documents with Lindsay and Paddy to present to clients. This led me to presenting it at SPE/ICoTA Well Intervention Conference, in Oman September 2019, where we received very positive feedback and secured a field trial for later this year.”
5. What led you into the role you’re in today? What were you doing before this?
“I did a chemistry degree at Alexandria University, and through my coursework and projects I focused specifically on the oilfield. I then gained a lot of experience in the field working as an engineer with one of the biggest operators in the Middle East, before joining Aubin.
“When Aubin was recruiting for my position, they were specifically looking for someone with field experience - so my time working as an engineer really helped me secure this role.”
6. Why did you decide to pursue this as a career?
“My job in the field was very much a routine and the same thing every day. In the field everything had to be done as a system, which was a bit of a headache for me. Although it was well paid and I got a lot of time off from being on rotation, I just didn’t enjoy it and didn’t feel myself.
“Communication is a big thing for me - I love to communicate with people, and I wasn’t able to do this in my engineering role, as I was in the lab most of the time. I wanted to find a role where I could thrive on meeting new people, building relationships and solving problems as a team - and I’ve definitely found that.”
7. What top skills or traits do you think someone needs to pursue a role like this?
“Communication skills are very important. You need to be a good listener and understand your clients’ needs.
“Account management and strategic thinking are also very important skills to have in this kind of role, as you’re building long-term relationships with clients. It’s not just about today and tomorrow - you always have to think about the future.
“I would also say that product knowledge is something you need to have. You need to understand your products first before you can make any sales.
“Time management is another very important skill to have. There are only three sales people in the Aubin team in the Middle East, and we have requests coming in all the time. You need to ensure you are spending your time in the right way and prioritising what you focus on.”
8. What is the biggest challenge in your role and how do you overcome this?
“A personal challenge for me is gaining knowledge in cementing and stimulation from the operation side. My background is in drilling, so I have had to spend a lot of time learning from my colleagues in the lab and reading up on it, so I can fully understand the problems our clients are facing and be able to give them the right solution.
“You have to be fully engaged with your clients, and the problems they’re trying to solve, so that they trust you and you can develop the most effective solution.”
9. What is it like working at Aubin?
“It’s a small team at Aubin, and it’s almost like a family. Internal communication is happening all the time and it’s so easy to communicate with everyone - even with senior management. For example, Katy is our CEO, but you feel like you can reach her any time, and Ray who is head of the company's Business Development team is so flexible as well - you always get responses on time. I’ve worked in various companies before but I didn’t feel that kind of communication like we have here at Aubin.
“When I first joined Aubin, I had just come from working in the field, so my sales experience and product knowledge was very minimal. But everyone was so cooperative and supportive - they taught me, helped me, and guided me which was really nice. Everyone loves to collaborate and teach people, so we work very well as a team.”
10. What do you think makes Aubin successful?
“We have very smart people in the lab combined with creative and energetic people in sales. You can really do something good with that mix, and I think this is what makes Aubin unique.”