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Seizing opportunities and staying agile are key
SINGAPORE-BASED PNX Petroleum has been named among the country's fastest growing companies at this year's SME100 awards event. Getting the SME100 award this year is all the more significant for PNX Petroleum Singapore as the SME100 Awards is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
PNX Petroleum trades and supplies a wide range of refined oil products to the region's end-users. Typical end-customers include oil retailers, airlines, mining companies, power plants, and transport and shipping companies. "We position ourselves as a one-stop reliable alternative for these big oil buyers, by offering an integrated package which goes from physical supply to price risk management, from financing to shipping and logistics," says Stefano Angelocola, managing director of the company.
"Today, the Philippines is our primary market, and going forward, we plan to continue our regional expansion by replicating our business model in other South-east Asian countries," he adds. As a company that started operations less than two years ago, "getting the SME100 Award is testament to the good work that the team has done so far. The initial steps of a new journey are often the most difficult and we believe that we are on track for a long and exciting one," says Mr Angelocola. "Our team must be proud of the results that we have achieved in this short time. Each team member gave a strong contribution to the company's performance and I trust that this award will further motivate all of us to remain highly dedicated and committed to the success of our company."
He also feels that this award has been conferred on the company as it has been able to demonstrate its ability to perform professionally in a challenging industry which is an extremely crowded marketplace with oil majors, national oil companies, international trading houses and big regional refineries.
"In less than two years, we managed to cover our costs and be profitable. With a team of 16 people, we continue to drive organic growth and explore new opportunities," says Mr Angelocola.
His entrepreneurial adventure started about two years ago. Mr Angelocola says he has to thank the company's President & CEO, Dennis A Uy, for his trust and for offering this opportunity to him. "Additionally, a big thank you goes to our shareholder Phoenix Petroleum Philippines for their continuous support," says Mr Angelocola.
"The main challenge was to quickly develop our presence in a low-margin environment, with strong and bigger competitors who have successfully covered the same markets for many years. We hired an experienced team and carefully chose our business partners. This allowed us to function efficiently and at the highest standards from day one.
"Being based in Singapore - a major global energy trading hub - has definitely helped us to achieve this result," he adds.
When asked what it takes to be a successful SME entrepreneur and how he would define entrepreneurship, Mr Angelocola shares: "I believe entrepreneurship is the ability to seize opportunities and adjust quickly in a continuously changing environment, without compromising the profitability of the company and the integrity of its people," he adds.
Given the current challenging times, he says that SME businessmen should remain focused on what they are good at and do it better than everybody else. "The advantage of being an SME is that decisions can be taken faster and we can add value by providing tailor-made solutions for each customer. Better and faster are the keywords to succeed in a dynamic and challenging environment," says Mr Angelocola.