How did you arrive at Shell?
Min: I studied Mechanical Engineering at university and graduated in July 1989. In Dec 1994, I joined Shell China.
Deng Xiaoping’s reforms were opening opportunities for growth in Shenzhen, where I was based. As part of the Retail team, I led the building of our first Shell China Retail Gas station, which opened in October 1997, and progressed to become Head of Retail Engineering to grow our network in China.
In 2001, I left Shell to join an Advanced Study of Master Program in Canada. But I re-joined Shell China in 2004 as General Manager of a Joint Venture building a Retail gas station network in Sichuan province.
Initially, we had no Shell-branded sites in the Sichuan market. Since then, we have set up a team and an office to establish local relationships, engage with local government, and build commercial partnerships. I successfully grew the business in a new market from scratch, and went on to carry out a similar task in October 2006 – this time setting up a new Joint Venture in Chongqing.
2009 saw me progress from Network Manager to become Deputy General Manager a Joint Venture which owns the business with the largest share of the local market. In May 2016, I was transferred back to Beijing Headquarters, taking the reins of the Retail China Engineering Team to support the rapid growth of our Retail China Network.
What’s the difference now from when I started? In 1997, we built very few gas stations in a year – two or three. Now, we have to build hundreds to achieve our objectives. I was there for the first one, and now we’ve just opened our 1,400th site. I feel very proud to have played a role in that growth.