Meet Sonia Dallali, Marketing Director
Sonia Dallali has joined Lubmarine as Marketing Director at a time when the global shipping industry is collectively transforming through its decarbonization journey.
Here she talks about her love of international business, her career within TotalEnergies and Lubmarine’s passion for customer-centricity and shipping that she sees as vital ingredients in taking the business forward.
Can you tell us more about your career with TotalEnergies?
I initially studied at Business School in Nantes with a particular interest in international business. It was whilst there that I had the opportunity to take up an internship with TotalEnergies at its head office in Paris with a focus on international consulting.
I was really interested in the idea of helping companies with structure and organizational support and TotalEnergies had an internal consulting department so it was a great fit.
During that time, I was successful in securing a 2-year volunteer placement working on a TotalEnergies project in Jordan to help launch a network of service stations and automotive lubricants division.
I was based in the capital Amman which was culturally fascinating. My father is Tunisian and my mother is French so I really enjoyed the opportunity to develop an even greater knowledge of the Arab culture.
At the end of my time on the project, I was recruited as a TotalEnergies employee. I really wanted to stay within the company as I liked the culture – which reflected my own personality.
Since then, I have worked in a number of areas of the business, predominantly within automotive and industrial roles including the Total Fuel Card business as Sales Manager, Key
Account Manager, as Market Segment Manager for automotive lubricants internationally, supporting the sales teams with responsibility for a range of products and all marketing materials for the affiliates.
I have also taken part in projects evaluating the marketing and sales strategy for automotive lubricants in specific affiliates in Spain, the USA and China which gave me the opportunity to explore different markets, different market maturities and different styles of marketing.
Most recently I was Regional Sales Manager for Industrial Lubricants – covering North East France - which is known for its heavier industries such as steel production. My team were involved in both the sales and technical functions. It was important for us to really understand our customers and their operations – to understand their environments, processes and constraints and work closely with them to provide excellent solutions and services.
What attracted you to the Marketing Director role at Lubmarine?
The chance to lead the marketing team at Lubmarine was really appealing as I know it offered the opportunity to combine my love of international business with marketing and communications alongside close client relationships. Lubmarine is a direct business unit and the marketing we do has a direct impact on the sales performance. Lubmarine is a truly global business.
What was also interesting from my perspective is that the shipping industry is in a state of significant transformation through its decarbonization journey and as a result of that so is Lubmarine.
It is early days for you in the Marketing Director role – but what are your initial observations?
As I’ve said, our business is on its own transformational journey along with the rest of the global shipping industry. So, a major focus for us is on developing new lubrication solutions to meet the mix of new fuels that will be required to meet IMO targets – in the short, medium and long term. Our goal is to remain at the forefront of the industry at what is a time of change and uncertainty in the market as shipping operators look at their own fuel strategies.
One of our strengths as a business is the close working relationships we have with our customers, providing not just high-quality lubrication products but trusted technical services and support. Our customers want us to help them find the right solutions and they respect our knowledge and willingness to really support them and to add value.
And what is clear is that the team here are passionate about shipping and about supporting our customers and they are rising to meet the challenges ahead. There is a great team spirit within Lubmarine and so much expertise and experience and that is shining through. I am really enjoying working with them and learning from them.
In addition to new lubrication solutions, are there other areas you are looking at to support customers globally?
Absolutely – we believe serving our customers is about combining great products with great services and technical support, and digital tools and services is something we see as a great way of supporting our customers.
As a result, we have a team developing a growing range of digital tools designed to help our shipping customers make better-informed, real-time choices not only around their lubrication strategies, but in terms of automated oil monitoring, ordering processes etc.
We want to make the life of our customers easier wherever we can - it is at the heart of our business and is what is driving us.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
With two children aged 3 and 6 and another one on the way, it’s fair to say we are always busy! As a person I like to stay active and busy both professionally and personally.
As a child I enjoyed playing the piano and have started playing again as my son has started to learn.
Keeping fit and active is important also and I enjoy running – especially as I am objective driven and love to have a goal.