STAYING FLUID DRIVES SUCCESS

A mixture of dedication, application, and a willingness to accept all challenges have seen Castrol’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Tanya Ghosn, rise to the top in her field

Tanya Ghosn

Having started her tenure with BP some 30 years ago, Tanya has successfully navigated numerous challenges and grabbed hold of all opportunities that have presented themselves over the course of her journey.
Castrol, which was purchased by the BP Group in 2000, was originally ‘born’ on the 1st of July 1919 in Martin Place in Sydney, when ex-digger Cyril Westcott broke ground on the first of the now two Castrol manufacturing facilities in the country.
“Not many people know, but the brand Castrol originated after researchers added castor oil to their lubricant formulations,” explained Tanya.
“A century later, the Castrol brand has supported the efforts and achievements of pioneers who set the benchmark on land, air, sea, and space. We have been here a long time, and I like to think we know what we’re doing.”
Tanya has undoubtedly come a long way from her own humble beginnings growing up on a dairy farm in Southwest Victoria, about two and a half hours out of Melbourne.
“It was great growing up on the land, but I yearned for the bright lights of the big city and headed to Melbourne to start my career,” said Tanya.
“My first job was what they called at the time a clerical trainee. I used to spend three days in the company and two days at TAFE.
“It was an interesting start, but I knew I wanted more, so I went back to study, completed a degree, and established a career from there.”
Tanya did not make a conscious decision to join the oil and gas industry, but after more than three decades in this exciting and innovative industry sector, she knows it was the right call.
“Like most people, I just started out looking for a job, and by chance, I ended up at Castrol,” Tanya explained.

“I didn’t set out to work in this industry, but after a few short months, I soon realised that I really enjoyed working with the customers both inside and outside of the organisation.”
Drawn to the cut and thrust of the sales environment, Tanya quickly found herself a position within the highly respected Castrol Sales Team.
“I have a great passion for understanding what motivates people and how organisations make money, so sales played to my strengths,” said Tanya.
“I learnt so much in my sales roles, and that experience has been the anchor to which I’ve tethered my career.”
Over the course of her career, Tanya’s roles became more extensive. Still, she enjoyed the new challenges that each new position presented, until she ultimately secured the much-coveted title of General Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Of course, there have been several critical turning points on Tanya’s journey, but perhaps the most important was when she landed one of the industry’s largest parcels of business – a contract that had been on BP’s radar for many years.
“I’ve always been willing to take calculated risks, and when the opportunity came to prepare a tender response for a huge piece of work that we’d been chasing, without success for more than a decade, I put my hand up and knuckled down,” Tanya explained.
“When you put your mind to something, no matter how big the goal, anything is possible. It was a big win for the organisation and an enormous achievement for me personally as it provided the springboard from which to drive my career forward at a faster rate.”

Following that milestone, one of the most exciting periods of her career soon followed.
“At the core, I relish the opportunity to uncover the challenges our customers face. I pride myself on designing innovative, practical, and cost-effective solutions that Castrol can implement to help them overcome these challenges,” she said.
Today, Tanya manages more than 300 dedicated and talented employees spanning Australia and New Zealand.
However, she is still acutely aware that it is the personal touches that make a massive difference in breeding a positive culture within an organisation.
“As the leader of a large group of people, one can never underestimate the value of just talking to people,” Tanya said.
“Understanding their stories and the way they see the company is critical to building a high-performing team that won’t buckle under pressure.
“It’s a great responsibility and privilege to lead an organisation with such a successful history like Castrol, and it’s one I don’t take lightly.
“We spend so much time together, and while we’ve got a lot of serious stuff we need to deal with, we have to enjoy it, and we have to have a degree of camaraderie within the team.
“It’s my job to make sure our employees feel like they are a member of a team that focuses on success and one that also takes the time out to celebrate the personal triumphs along the way.
“To build a career in the automotive aftermarket, one of the first things you need is a healthy dose of curiosity. It is a very complex industry. You need to ask questions, then sit back and listen.”

When quizzed on Castrol’s competitive advantage, Tanya identified its R&D, manufacturing capabilities and people as the key competencies that help keep Castrol at the forefront.
“We’re pretty unique, and our two local manufacturing facilities allow us to offer security and continuality of supply to customers,” Tanya explained.
“These two facilities provide us with the ability to be flexible and respond to market needs with a quality that everyone expects from Castrol.”
Having significantly invested in designing and opening its state-of-the-art laboratory at Spotswood in 2015, Tanya says there is no doubt that Castrol is here for the long haul.
Beyond its local assets, Castrol also has access to a global network of manufacturing plants as BP owns them.
With an Australian based tech support team and a global lubes technology team, Castrol is constantly researching and developing formulations to bring new products to market.
Of course, keeping a finger on the pulse of the automotive aftermarket is critical to Castrol’s continued success, and for that, the AAAA plays a significant role.
“We have a long history of working with others, creating partnerships, staying connected, and this is not only relevant for the past but also in support of the future, which is why we are a member of the AAAA,” Tanya said.
“It’s our ability to stay connected with the industry and the experts, and also hopefully offering our support and expertise back into the industry as well.
“I think it works for both of us,” she added.

To find out more about Castrol, visit www.castrol.com