Joining 3t Energy Group in 2022, meet our Vice President of Sales for the MENA Region, Ian Hunt! With a degree in Physics, specialising in Nuclear Physics, Ian began his career teaching at Sultan Qaboos University before joining the Oil & Gas industry where he has spent the last 30+ years gaining vital experience. Bringing that insight into the Group, Ian has a background of successfully managing business development strategies all across the world, including across 10 countries in the MENA region. It’s been great to welcome Ian to the team! Find out more below.
> What attracted you to join 3t?
I was excited about the idea of returning to the Middle East where I had previously lived and worked for 20+ years and was interested in the idea of leveraging my many years of experience and utilising my deep network within the O&G industry to make an impact for the Group.
Alongside my years working with two of the largest international service companies, I also had four years working with a Silicon Valley startup software technology company, so my time there gave me valuable insight into cloud-based technology solutions. I felt that my combination of knowledge and experience between standard drilling and oilfield services, and new data science cloud-based technologies would serve me very well at 3t Energy Group, which it has so far. I’m looking forward to further using my varied experience to help identify and target future development opportunities for the Group.
> In light of your background and knowledge of the skills sector, what has been your biggest learning curve?
When I first joined the Group, I was incredibly impressed with the AIS Survivex facility within Aberdeen. I was blown away when I learnt that over 100,000 candidates are trained every year from a portfolio of over 500 courses.
Diving into the history of the Group and how we have become the UK’s number one energy sector training provider, and how we maintain and strengthen that position has been a learning curve, but it’s also been a source of inspiration as well. It’s a fantastic motivating factor to see the drive and determination to remain the number one choice. On a personal level, it’s made me even more determined to help contribute to the success of the Group and drive future business development plans.
> You have quite an extensive career in business development, where do you hope to see the business grow in the next 3-5 years?
The O&G industry in the MENA region is currently very active with many new and ongoing offshore drilling rig activations required to meet the increasing ambitions of the NOCs in the region.
We’re also seeing a significant increase in the Intervention market as production targets are increased and brought forward by all Operators. If this activity increase is maintained, we should expect to see average CAGRs of up to 50% over the next couple of years with a focus of activity increase in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
> Reflecting on your international experience, what would you say is the biggest challenge operating as a global company, and how does 3t Energy Group work to combat this?
For any company that has a global footprint, building brand equity and understanding local requirements for operations whilst maintaining global standards is often a challenge.
This is especially true in the O&G industry, where customers often have staff influence in a buying decision locally but located in an international HQ. Having recently recruited a new Director of Marketing, 3t Energy Group is aiming to tackle this challenge head-on. As part of this role, the responsibilities are to create standards and collateral that will help project a consistent look and feel to all material that is used across the Group’s portfolio of businesses, helping to build brand equity.
> What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
As a leader in any organization, you need to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. When given the opportunity, you should leverage your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses by building and developing a strong team around you that can support your ambitions.
In that regard, I am lucky. I have a fantastic foundation of a strong Business Development team in the MENA region so my hopes and expectations are, with some support and guidance, they will develop into a very effective team. So far, all the indicators show that this is exactly what is happening. Happy times are ahead!