AZERBAIJAN - Energy & Mining
General Director, AzPetrol
Born in 1966 in the Liman settlement of the Lankaran region, Huseynaga Ragimov graduated from the Baku branch of the Leningrad Finance-Economy Institute in 1990. He is the Vice-President of the National Confederation of Azerbaijan Entrepreneurs Organization.
AzPetrol commenced activity by opening its own fuel station on Tbilisi Avenue in Baku on July 15, 1997. Over the subsequent years, the company rapidly expanded its activity, and today is engaged in the retailing and wholesaling of petrol, diesel, and gas fuels to individuals and legal entities across most of the republic. Among the 81 currently operational fuel stations, 76 sell petrol and diesel fuel, while five sell liquid petroleum gas (LPG). As in previous years, we also plan to open new fuel stations in Baku and in other regions over 2014.
Bringing new fuel stations into operation in all regions of the country, particularly in rural areas, envisages the establishment of new and permanent workplaces, which is a core consideration in our business activities. The meeting of targets is difficult without first establishing a high-quality and disciplined workforce. We may confidently say that the company has succeeded in achieving this. It has been possible by means of a strict recruitment process followed by the provision of thorough training to improve the quality of our personnel. Thus, employee-candidates attend our Training Center to gain theoretical knowledge in compliance with their job descriptions, while simultaneously participating directly in production. At the end of the courses, the examining board assesses the theoretical and practical knowledge of these candidates, with those successfully passing the exam being recruited.
Certainly, a company striving for perfection and advancement needs to pay attention not only to its own international activity, but also to broader international relations and cooperation. From this point of view, our company has increased the establishment of bilateral and multilateral relations with international organizations and foreign companies, and nurtures existing contacts. Besides the inherent mutual economic benefits, such relations have great significance in terms of the advanced exchange of practical knowledge and promotion of business achievement. In my opinion, AzPetrol, in claiming a certain share of Azerbaijan’s unique economic success of recent years, is also representative of foreign commercial entities that champion free market transparency.
Currently, the effects of the global economic crisis are felt worldwide. The global economy is exposed to a slump and employment has been negatively impacted. However, largely thanks to the successful economic policy implemented by President Ilham Aliyev, the negative impact of the economic crisis on the economy of Azerbaijan was negligible. In fact, GDP registered a rise, and would have performed better still but for the prevailing fallout from the crisis. AzPetrol also largely escaped the economic crisis. It fully mobilized its potential and avoided a decrease in workforce, actually increasing its head count by opening new fuel stations. This performance was also observed among other advanced companies of Azerbaijan, and, consequently, in my opinion, the rise in oil exports in Iran will not negatively impact the local market, or economic relations.
The main tasks of AzPetrol are to actively build on its current commercial position, and continue its contribution to the development of the private sector. We intend to extend our sphere of activity, fully covering our regions, generating employment, increasing the versatility of the sectors we operate in, and delivering comprehensive information on our corporate activity. A company clearly cannot develop without a workforce that is dedicated, and possessed of intellectual fortitude and a professional attitude.
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