As part of KELTON's continued focus on the Middle East as a key market for the business, we have taken the time to speak to Donald Angus, who is based in the KELTON Qatar division as Business Development Manager for the area, about his role, life in the Middle East, and KELTON's involvement in the region.
Donald, can you first of all introduce yourself and your journey so far?
My name is Donald Angus, and I have been with KELTON for 14 months as their Middle East Business Manager. In my role, I mainly focus on business development across the Middle East specked with some operational responsibilities. I have spent almost all my working life – or 28 years to date – in the Metering industry. During that time I have worked on a gas plant in Scotland as a Metering Technician, before spending several years as a Lead Metering Auditor/ Lead Engineer for the BP UK Pipeline. I have also worked within SHELL UK and ConocoPhillips UK leading large metering teams, before moving into the business side of a metering service company as a Global Director for 12 years prior to joining KELTON.
How long have you been living and working in the Middle East? What made you move?
I had been travelling ad hoc to the Middle East from a UK base in Aberdeen since 2004, but moved to Qatar full time in January 2018.
This was to increase the amount of time spent face-to-face with clients, and to be able to better support them from a local base. So as well as engineers and consultants, we now also have an operational manager in country.
From a personal point of view, when I joined KELTON in 2017 it was a good time in my life and career to try something new, and taking up a secondment in the Middle East represented an exciting opportunity for myself. By the time I joined, KELTON had already done some great work in the Middle East and enjoy a fantastic reputation - it will be a pleasure for me to elevate and expand upon this.
How is life in the Middle East compared to the UK, both in terms of work and personal time?
Life over here is very similar with regards to things like the day to day business tasks and customer needs. I came into the country at a good time as the temperatures were very pleasant in the mid 20s. Leaving a snow-covered Aberdeen was definitely not hard, and I have to say it was rather pleasant to be able to have breakfast and dinner on the patio while knowing its only 5 degrees C in the UK.
A very new experience for me will be Ramadan, which begins tonight and will last until mid-June. In the Islamic year, Ramadan is considered the holiest month as the Qu’ran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad during this time. Adult Muslims need to fast from sunrise to sunset every day, and while non-Muslims like myself are not required to fast, we do want to honour the traditions of our new home and therefore follow some etiquette rules ourselves.
What is your favourite part about the culture in the ME?
I find the people across the Middle East to be very friendly and welcoming. In business and specifically in business development, people in some cultures don’t always see the value a consultancy can bring to their business. Here it is refreshing to visit clients who have an active interest in what we can do to improve their processes.
What role does the Middle East play for KELTON, and why?
The Middle East holds great opportunities for us both in terms of our unique metering software packages, and the consultancy and audit side of the business. We have an unrivalled reputation in the region as the best in our field, and we will continue to expand on this.
What drew you to Business Development as opposed to other functions?
From an early age I have always been interested in business as my family had their own business. They were farmers, which is not always an occupation that is associated with business, but to survive you of course had to adapt to trends and markets, and diversify into other lines such as wind turbines and property rental. Though I am the first in three generations not to continue the farming line, I am pleased to report the business is still running in the family.
What is the best/most rewarding part of your job?
The best part in Business Development is closely working together with the client to find the best solution to their problem. Each case is unique as no two clients, no two systems are the same, and the feeling you get from seeing your client happy with our final deliverable is unparalleled. Knowing we have solved a problem and really added value to a client’s operation gives me great satisfaction, and pushes me to give my all every time.
What’s the most important characteristic/trait you need for a job in BDM?
In sales and development, you need to be an excellent listener and good negotiator. The key is being able to identify and understand the clients’ needs, and coming up with a good solution at the right price to add value to the customers’ business.
If you only had 30seconds, how would you pitch KELTON (or one of its products) to a prospective customer?
The metering equipment is the ‘cash register’ of your oil/gas company. More often than not, your cash register has an error, but you don’t know how big that error is. KELTON will tell you the size of the error and give you the solution to reduce it.
What do you do in your free time, when you are not travelling around the Middle East for KELTON?
I enjoy travelling, so in my holidays I am usually off somewhere overseas. In the evenings and at the weekends, I use the time to catch up with friends or go for walks. I have specially bought new trainers to use in the gym, although they have yet to see the treadmill! As I am now living in a rental flat, I am not missing a summer of grass cutting, gardening or maintenance which would be keeping me occupied in Scotland.
Finally, what does the future hold?
For me it is all about face-to-face time with clients throughout the region, ensuring we are at the table for all potential work. We are unrivalled in our quality and we bring people to the region full time whenever the business requires additional support. We also have plans in place with our local Partners across the Middle East, and will continue to fully support them in their growth.
Exciting times are ahead for KELTON in the Middle East, and we are looking forward to building close relationships with our clients here, to guarantee them the best possible results for their fiscal measurement operations.
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us, Donald, and best of luck for what sound like exciting times ahead.