Eugene Mayne, Group CEO, Tristar Image Credit: Supplied

Please share a brief history of the company.

Tristar began operations in 1998. The company was initially set up to target fuel distribution for international and national oil majors operating in the UAE, to address the lack of professional transporters to move bulk petroleum products in a safe and reliable manner. Tristar, today has set global standards and industry benchmarks on safe road transport operations in the markets where it operates in and has expanded to cover 21 countries on 3 continents across the downstream, energy value chain. Our portfolio of services is extensive, including road and maritime transportation of fuels, specialised warehousing, fuel farms, commercial aviation, into plane refuelling, and remote fuel supply operations.

What are some of Tristar’s recent achievements and how has the firm impacted its sector?

Our biggest achievement this year is having successfully navigated our business through the pandemic without having to implement extreme measures such as laying off staff or imposing salary cuts. Our success is also very much due to the importance we place on health and safety. Tristar has become a leader in the industry in safety operations and is recognised by various customers as well as through international awards. We have received a total of 11 Gold Awards from the UK-based Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) covering three categories: occupational health and safety management, fleet safety, and managing occupational road risk. Most recently, I was honoured to receive the Influencer Award from RoSPA for our various road safety community awareness campaigns in KSA and the UAE in 2019.

Emotional quotient ranks high in a CEO’s list of variables in handling staff. How do you relate to this statement?

Our people are our most important asset and have been instrumental in the success of the company. In any organisation, and especially a logistics operation where the bulk of the employees are blue-collar workers, it is important to make time to listen to employees, as this quickly builds trust and loyalty and has more of an impact than a cold pay rise. I have an open-door policy, and all employees understand that they can call me directly in case of any issues or concerns.

Your advice to entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses.

Hard work is the first thing that comes readily to mind. There is no substitute for it, and I find the harder one works, the more successes one will achieve. Starting and running a successful business requires a common sense approach in all business decisions. Furthermore, adopting and building the right values for long-term success is something that can never go wrong, as chasing quick gains often end up bringing more challenges. Building trust and loyalty among all stakeholders does not require a Harvard degree and it’s how one uses the 24 hours per day that is God’s gift to all that will determine success and failure.