This week saw fuel, technology and convenience suppliers meet with fuel wholesale and retail operators in Kuala Lumpur for the ReFuel APAC 2024, for what was an intense but productive couple of days of learning and in depth corporate speed-dating.

The unique format of the ReFuel Forums, presented by OpenRoom , is more than just a conference.  The Forums include a day and a half of structured professional speed dating, a series of prearranged 20 minute meetings that allow for deep understanding and the condensing of a years worth of meetings into just a few days.

The conference presentations and panels allowed for detailed exploration of the challenges facing the fuel industry in the Asia Pacific region and the structured one-to-one meetings allowed delegates to spend quality time with suppliers and Technology leaders from around the world exploring their solutions to the problems retailers are facing today and will tomorrow.

 

MC for the the ReFuelForum APAC 2024, Mark McKenzie (BEng,MBA,GAICD), opened the learning sessions by calling on Kevin White, Managing Director Asia for Gilbarco Veeder-Root , the Headline Partner for the event, who invited delegates to be open to new ideas and to engage with suppliers and colleagues to explore solutions to current challenges and partners for future opportunities.

Dieter Billen, Partner Energy Practice South-East Asia and Mobility for Roland Berger kicked the learning off with a keynote designed to lead delegates through an exploration of the current and future state of the decarbonisation of transport fuels in the context if road, air and maritime usages.

Nathan Barnett, Head of APAC Business Developement Sales and Soultions for invenco by Gilbarco Veeder-Root addressed the ‘automation’ trend and explored the question ‘is automation a trend, an empty cost or a competitive advantage?’ (Spoiler Alert: it depends on your business and customer ecosystem, businesses need to understand automation options and be ready to activate when it makes sence for thier ecosystem).

Then Chi Fong Lou, Technical Director APAC, PDI Technologies then challenged delegates to get real about cyber security in a retail setting as the prevalence and economic impact of cyber attacks increases.

After a quick refresh at afternoon tea the Forum delegates got down to the real work of the event…the one-to-one meetings that “allow us to do a years worth of meetings in a couple of days, it’s hard work, but well worth it”.

The meetings ran into the evening before a delightful dinner overlooking the KL sykyline.

Day 2 of the ReFuelForum APAC 2024 commenced with more learning sessions to provide delegates with local, regional and international context on the challenges and opportunities within the fuel wholesale, retail and supply chain that are facing all industry participants.

Sreeja Nair, Senior Sales Manager, FuelTrans, took delegates through the role that technology and IOT can play in leveraging the intrinsic asset that is business and

Reza Razali 🇲🇾 , CEO of Silentmode Sdn. Bhd. , Gold Partner for the Forum, gave delegates a quick insight into the innovative RONPOS retail fuel POS solution before calling on Tat Chong K. , CTO of PETRONAS Digital Sdn Bhd who expanded on the self aware, raw internal review that led to a dramatic technological development program accross the fuel retail network to drive business results that were centrered around customer insights and experiences.

Neil DeSouza, APAC lead New Energy for Jacobs then lead delegates through an energy agnostic deep dive into the role Hydrogen is likely to play in coming years in the transport energy mix.

Mark McKenzie (BEng,MBA,GAICD), event MC and CEO of Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) drew together the actual (as opposed to hopeful) reality of the role of ev as the “hero” of transition (Spoiler Alert…its not).

Mark then led a panel discussion exploring how this challenging energy mix environment is being addressed with innovation and experimentation in the Non-Fuel retail environment.

The panelists;
Syed Redza Algadrie, Leadership Strategy and Growth, 7-Eleven Malaysia
Sze Lin Toh, CP Mobility Marketing Manager East for Shell
Bryan Loo Woi Lip, CEO of Loob Holding

provided delegates with a rare and open exploration of the strategic approaches in the region businesses are making to shift from simply ‘fuel stop’ to a true mobility and community hub.

The session wrapped up with a presentation by John Tait, Global Managing Director for Transaction Network Services, Silver Partner for the event, on the changing payment landscape locally and internationally, the challenges that these shifting trends place on retailers and the very real considerations around security, capability and reach when selecting a payments partner.

 

Armed with valuable insights the delegates had a quick morning tea before getting down to a long and energising day of unique 20 min speed dating meeting sessions that turn delegates into colleagues with a deeper understanding of each other’s businesses, pain points and solutions.

 

 

The networking continued in a more relaxed setting as delegates were treated to a dinner under the stars at the Ciao Ristorante overlooking the Royal Selangor Gold Club.

After two days of intensive structured meetings and presentations retailers and supplier head home with new and deeper relationships and the partnerships ready to rise to the challenge of today and to take advantage of the opportunities of tomorrow.

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