Jawad Majeed is the General Manager of Tabeer Energy (Pvt) Ltd. A subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation which is the largest general trading company of Japan. We got a chance to interview him & get some insights into his career.
Tell us about your background and how you got where you are today
As soon as I graduated from Iqra University in 2005 with a Masters in Marketing, I used to tell all my friends that my ideal job would be somewhere between an advertising firm or brand management and my worst choice of career would be to enter the financial industry and it so happened that as soon as I graduated the first job I was given, was at NIB as their credit analyst.
I worked there for around four years and from there I was headhunted by Mitsubishi Corporation. Most Pakistanis limit Mitsubishi to cars, elevators and escalators but that’s not all they do. Mitsubishi is one of the largest trading companies in Japan with offices all over the world.
In 2008, I started working for Mitsubishi Corporation in the marketing department – I was a marketing major so I always felt inclined to a career directly related to marketing and promotions. Mitsubishi has different groups which operate throughout the world with divisions in it like food, textile, heavy machinery etc. So, when I started off with Mitsubishi, I joined the chemical division which was a bit challenging for me since I wasn’t an engineer nor came from a chemical background & I was directly in charge of marketing chemical products within Pakistan.
These products were usually marketed to the textile & packaging industry and I was given charge of all three-joint venture at Mitsubishi with huge conglomerates such as Engro & the Deewan Group. After 5 years in the division, I had gained a good deal of experience and knowledge about the Chemical industry.
Right about that time, my company was shifting focus in trying to set up in a food commodity business as recently Engro Foods had come up as well. So around 5 years into my job I was shifted to the living essentials division and primarily looked after the food category where we decided to launch the first-ever branded whole wheat project which is basically branded Atta.
After working for two and a half years in that division, I finally moved to the energy sector which is the largest division in the company. So, in the energy sector, we decided to come up with an idea to eradicate electricity shortage problems and to set up some sort of plant in Pakistan. We set up the first private LNG terminal in Pakistan, and a local company as well which was called Tabeer Energy, which I am now the GM of. It’s been a 15 years long journey so far.
You said you were head-hunted – could you explain the process?
When I was working in NIB, People were trying to get into the Middle East for better job opportunities. In 2006 to 2007 I was trying to apply in Dubai, I also applied to headhunters within Pakistan for a better opportunity, but my focus was on Dubai. I started out in Mitsubishi in 2008. Many companies tried to approach me even the banks, but I just wanted to move away from the financial industry. If you look at them as an apple-to-apple comparison company like Engro and shell are huge companies, but Mitsubishi Corporation is extremely huge especially in south-east and south-west region. I did comparisons numerous times but at last, I chose Mitsubishi.
Do you see yourself leaving Mitsubishi? If yes, what company do you see yourself in?
At different points in my career, I thought of other opportunities, but I chose Mitsubishi for many reasons. Money was never a problem. For me, it was an opportunity to learn more as well as the culture. But to be very honest with you me leaving Mitsubishi at this point would only be to start my own venture and not to join another company.
What are your job responsibilities and what a typical day feels like there?
We had to set up a local company in order to do business in Pakistan that’s because of legal laws of Pakistan so we started out a project in Tabeer Energy around one and a half year ago and as you know setting up a terminal anywhere in the world and the entire process for setting up the terminal takes 2 to 7 years. For this, we need to get the raw material from abroad which in LNG. Since it is gas, and it is difficult to transport gas, so it is turned in to liquid and transported into Pakistan and then again turned into Gas the process is called regasification. This is basically done at the terminal. From where we will sell it to the customers. Whereas I am involved with every single aspect of the value chain. I negotiate contracts with international gas companies and with terminal companies for regasification and with SUI companies for tolling charges. And finally, I am also the general manager of the marketing company.
Tabeer energy is still very new and your job consists of setting up the flow of the company. How is this compared to years at Mitsubishi?
Ever since I moved from the energy sector, I have been personally looking after the LNG imports into Pakistan because Pakistan’s industry is short of gas. So, Mitsubishi was pursuing this but then we got to know that in order to do business in Pakistan we had to set up a locally based company, therefore, we had to register Tabeer Energy which came into existence in February 2018. So obviously comparing to Mitsubishi it is very new but still, it is a fully set up organization.
What are some of the apps that you use to conduct your job in your daily operations?
On daily basis within the office, we use SharePoint most of the time. And since the pandemic, we have been using Bluejeans for video conferencing since Zoom is unprotected. Most of the apps we develop on our own like for digital tracking LNG ships as per terminal cycles.
What’s a mistake in your career that you regret?
To be honest, I was a “me player” rather than a “we player” and wanted to do things on my own rather than working in teams because I couldn’t trust anyone to do the work exactly like I wanted them to. So, I struggled and put myself through a lot just by not having faith in people working with me. If I could fix one mistake, it would be this – to go back and start relying on my team from the start.
For someone who’s had such a distinct career starting off with Finance and then moving to marketing in such distinct industries, what advice do you have for someone who wants to follow your career path?
At the start of your career always have a goal and always have a likeness of which country you want to choose. Try to have a target in your mind in something you have an interest in and that motivate you better not for yourself but the organization you want to work for. Understand what you want to do and always have an interest in which you can work with motivation. Try to have a goal at the start of your career. Just close your eyes yourself and imagine where you will be in 10 years and then work on that path.