Face Time with Tim Rankin from Chevron

A decade long career with Puma and Chevron has taken Tim Rankin, National Retail Fuels Manager, around the world and he has no plans of slowing down. This is his story…

I was born in Melbourne, but my family relocated to Brisbane when I was barely two months old. Growing up in the western suburbs, I went to school there, from primary to university. Sports were my thing – I dabbled in pretty much anything I could get my hands on. Cricket, swimming, soccer, rugby, volleyball, and water polo. Water polo was the sport I enjoyed the most. I spent a lot of my childhood in pools, and it even extended into my post-university days.

At 16, I got my first job working at a BP dealer site doing driveway service at a site in Indooroopilly, one of the only sites left that was offering the service. I was filling up customers’ cars, cleaning windshields, checking oil – it was all part of the gig. People often got surprised when I approached them; it was almost like a touch of luxury they didn’t expect. That surprise and delight factor kept our regulars coming back for more.

I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of travelling in my lifetime, both personal trips and in my working life. I’ve been fortunate to explore many countries, but a personal favourite city is London. I can’t quite put my finger on the appeal, but I follow Manchester United and the English Premier League since I was young so that’s probably part of it.

I started at Puma, before Chevron acquired them, and have been here for about a decade now. My career started in fuel pricing, before moving into sales support, then I moved into various middle management roles.

One of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences was leading our retail business in Myanmar, a country just opening its doors to international business. Puma had just completed building a terminal there so my role was to go over to try and establish a retail business and get rateable volume through that terminal.

I was one of the first in-country person from a retail perspective and did everything from establishing what our offer was going to be, getting the branding right, network planning, then attempting to acquire local businesses to get them to brand over to Puma.

Currently, my role is National Retail Fuels Manager at Chevron. The global integrated energy company has been present in Australia for more than 70 years. After acquiring Puma in Australia, Chevron has embarked on a major rebrand project, bringing back and growing the iconic Caltex brand, which it owns globally.

I head up our national retail organisation, or our dealer network as it is known in some other businesses and have been in the role for about two years now. On a personal level, I especially enjoy making new connections everyday as we grow our dealer channel and introduce the Caltex Starcard to the market.

My advice to retailers would be that taking a partnership approach is something that really pays dividends for both parties. Continuing to operate as a transactional relationship, where retailers buy fuel from us and they display our brand, isn’t the best way to operate. Our intention is that the end of those agreements isn’t the end of the relationship. We want these to be much longer term. Partnerships are really important to us.

Similarly, we look to do the same thing with suppliers. We want to partner with the right businesses that are going to add value to our business long term. We still have transactional relationships with suppliers, and we also have collaborative ones, but ideally, we want to work with businesses that we see as strategic partners where we can help each other grow.

I’m really looking forward to growing my career with Chevron, whether that be in Australia or overseas. I think I’m lucky that, as a business, Chevron is quite uniquely positioned in our industry to offer the chance work abroad. We have regional head offices in Singapore, have businesses across Southeast Asia, and a huge presence in the US, so hopefully I’ll find myself into one of those markets at some time in the future. Plenty achieve here first.

It would also be an amazing opportunity for my family, my wife Carla and two young daughters Ella and Isabel, to experience living in another country.

Outside of work, I spend a lot of my time looking after my kids and enjoying being a parent. We even welcomed a furry friend, Max who is a Cavoodle, into our home to help Ella overcome her fear of dogs—a decision that paid off beautifully.

This article originally appeared in the February/March issue of C&I Retailing Magazine.

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