Having first joined TotalEnergies as an intern almost 15 years ago, Emilie Audebert has built a strong career within the business, initially in management roles within the French petrol station network before taking a lead role in communications and then within TotalEnergies Lubrifiants strategy department.
She now brings her experience and ambition to her latest role, as Lubmarine’s Business Director for Southern Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.
Here she looks back on her career to date whilst looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities of working in Lubmarine at a critical time for the global shipping industry.
Can you tell us a little more about your career within TotalEnergies?
After studying and getting my degree in business, I started my career within TotalEnergies as a Territory Manager for a network of about 20 service stations close to Paris.
It was a multi-faceted role with responsibilities including monitoring and forecasting profit and loss for each station, HR responsibilities, negotiating contracts and understanding and adapting to economic conditions. I also had responsibility for the retail aspects of the service stations including merchandising and marketing.
Starting in this kind of commercial environment was challenging – especially as a young woman given the people I was working with were a lot older and more experienced. So, I learned a lot including the importance of relationship building.
After three years I was appointed Category Manager for service stations across France, with responsibility for defining the range of products they carried, and included responsibilities for shop and food lines, business negotiation and marketing.
I was then offered the role of Head of Communications across the French fuel station network – leading a team of nine, looking at both internal and external communications, national, regional and local media campaigns as well as issues management.
I worked in the Lubricants strategy team for two years. It was a future oriented role which mainly included reviewing the viability of potential projects. And to understand if a project has potential, you need to understand the market and its opportunities, the risk factors and challenges, the return on investment, the profitability, how much needs to be invested along with the risks and the potential rewards.
What have been your initial experiences of Lubmarine?
Firstly, it is amazing to be in an operational role within a global business unit which is exactly what Lubmarine is and I am certainly learning a lot about our products.
I became aware very quickly of the sheer level of knowledge that the team has – incredible. They love sharing knowledge and they are passionate about what they do. We also have a lot of direct marine experience in the team and this is invaluable. They share common values and what I have already seen is that they are enthusiastic to support our customers through our products and services and are completely committed to their jobs and the industry.
This deep knowledge and collective team approach has a direct and positive impact on the business – its performance and its profitability – and I am proud to be part of the team.
Tell Us About Your New Role
I certainly see my role as bringing the structure and support to help our teams continue to do what they do best – support our customers and add value.
We have a relatively small structure but a big territory to cover so this is challenging. The team is based in five different countries – Istanbul, Dubai, Greece, Italy and Paris – and our clients are spread across three continents – Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
That means dealing with a wide range of shipping customers, working in different environments and with different needs – whether that is container vessel operators, cruise ship operators, purchasing pools, traders or even, our affiliates selling our products for power generation.
And because the shipping industry never stops – we must be quick, agile and efficient to respond to our customers and their needs. Every request is different, so it makes for a very interesting role.
With the global capability we have of being able to deliver our products and services in almost 1,000 ports around the world we are well positioned to support our customers wherever and whenever they need us.
We want to grow and develop positive customer relationships and show we can support them today as well as moving forward through the decarbonization journey that shipping is now on.
The transition to new fuels will not be a quick one so our goal is to provide the right solutions for the here and now whilst also developing new solutions for tomorrow’s future fuels. But as part of a truly integrated global energy company, we are well positioned to achieve this.
When you are not at work how do you spend your spare time?
I live close to Paris with my husband and also have two kids aged three and seven – so life outside of work is also busy with school, activities and family life!
I also love to take part in sport. I was a keen gymnast from my childhood through to my early 20s and then moved into Gymnastics Step which was a team event. It was a fantastic experience with the team being crowned French champions four times as well as competing in the European Championships. So, fitness is important to me.
Whilst I no longer compete, fitness wise I love jogging and running – it’s important for me to exercise and to feel good. There is a forest near to home so it’s great to be able to go out and run.