A DAY IN THE LIFE: Arman Asghar Ali

Lube & Grease Plant Department Manager Maintenance Department Manager for Service Stations

Where did you work before joining ADNOC Distribution?

I started my career at a company in the UK that manufactured hydraulic press machines and car templates. After spending one year there, I relocated to Abu Dhabi to join the National Petroleum Construction Company, the largest manufacturer of steel platforms for the oil and gas industry. I worked there for two years and then moved to ADNOC Distribution.

I began my journey with the company as a Maintenance Engineer at a lubricant plant for 23 years. After that, I was promoted as head of the plant’s Maintenance Department. Four years later, I was named Plant Manager. In 2005, I moved into the General Maintenance Department as Maintenance Manager overseeing depots as well as gas and lubricant plants. I currently work as Maintenance Manager for ADNOC Distribution’s network of service stations that span from Al Ghweifat to Ras Al Khaimah.

Which opportunity played the greatest role in changing your life positively?

Working in Abu Dhabi has been a life-changing opportunity for me. The people here have been very welcoming and hospitable. Besides that, my passion for engineering always drives me towards more progress and success. I love spending my free time creating new tools and equipments which may enhance the work production, so I can say that my work is almost like a hobby to me. The trust that my line managers and senior management have in me helped me to be the best I can be and achieve the expectations of ADNOC Distribution’s customers.

What are your daily tasks?

Managing around 88 employees in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Eastern and Western Region, I am in constant touch with the supervisors. This helps me keep abreast of the latest developments and challenges in our line of work. I also make decisions regarding recruitment, billing and procurement, equipment inspections, project budgets and contracts. Last but not least, I ensure all tasks get carried out as planned.

What are your main responsibilities? Any challenges?

I am responsible for the complete maintenance workflow of our service stations. This includes taking care of the floors, walls, tanks, pumps, pipes, bathrooms, as well as the equipment at the ADNOC Oasis stores, such as refrigerators and microwaves. In short, I make sure all equipments are ready to meet the requirements of our customers.

One key challenge we face is time pressure. Our work is usually not limited to specific hours, but may include shifts during nights, weekends and public holidays. After all, equipment must be free of any damage or flaw that can adversely impact the workflow at any time, and in turn affect the company’s reputation.

Would you offer any suggestions that can help you improve your daily tasks?

To achieve success, we should always abide by established rules and regulations, and remain patient while overcoming challenges.

How can you maintain harmony at work in such a culturally diverse environment?

My work requires engaging with different nationalities on a daily basis, which was challenging at first. However, I have learnt that mutual respect and cooperation are the best ways to deal with all individuals — whether at work or elsewhere.

What is the funniest situation you have been in at work?

One day, I received a late-night call from a supervisor of a certain service station, saying that a person was stuck inside the bathroom. He asked for a solution, so I told him to remove the bathroom door. Later he called again, saying that the customer’s hand got stuck inside the toilet while he was trying to retrieve his dropped cell phone. I told him to remove the toilet. Then the supervisor called again to say that the door and the toilet were now out of commission. I said, only half-jokingly: “Go and ask the customer to pay for them.”

Tell us about your hobbies.

I like to go fishing once in a while. Even though I am not a professional fisherman, I rely on luck most of the time. It is a most relaxing pastime.

What are your future ambitions and plans?

After a long career spanning 34 years, my wife and I plan to go back to the UK and settle there with our children.

Who would you like to thank for your success?

I am profoundly thankful to all the company’s employees, who have been my second family. Together, we have overcome many challenges and achieved great success. I hope we stay as close as we are now, regardless of the physical distance between us.