ZEN Petroleum is ranked among Africa’s fastest-growing companies for the second year by the Financial Times (FT). Mercy Smith, Commercial Manager at the company, discusses the importance of local industry and talent development in Ghana
ZEN Petroleum’s success in Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies 2023 annual ranking has reaffirmed its position as a key player in the downstream petroleum sector of Ghana. Beyond being a market leader in supplying fuel and lubricants to mines in Ghana, ZEN has accelerated the growth of its retail network to a total of over 40 operational stations across the country, serving a cross-section of customers around the country.
The homegrown company’s commitment to quality, safety and innovation has made it a reliable, safe and valuable partner for supply of high-quality hydrocarbon products in Ghana and West Africa.
In this Q and A, we speak with ZEN Petroleum’s Commercial Manager, Mercy Smith, about the Financial Times’ annual ranking’s significance for the entrepreneurial landscape in Ghana, ZEN Petroleum’s role in supporting local industry and talent development, and the company’s plans for sustainable growth in the years ahead.
Q1: Can you tell us more about the significance of being included on the Financial Times’ 2023 Annual Ranking of Africa’s Fastest-Growing Companies for the second consecutive year?
A1: It is a great honour for ZEN Petroleum to be included on the Financial Times’ 2023 Annual Ranking of Africa’s Fastest-Growing Companies for the second year in a row. This ranking is a testament to our continued growth and success as a company, and it confirms our position as one of the leading players in the downstream petroleum sector in Ghana and beyond. We are particularly proud to demonstrate that a local company, led by local talent and leveraging local expertise, can be a shining beacon for what’s possible even amid economic uncertainty.
Q2: How does ZEN Petroleum’s inclusion on this list impact the entrepreneurial landscape in Ghana?
A2: ZEN Petroleum’s inclusion on this list is a positive reflection of the entrepreneurial landscape in Ghana. It demonstrates that Ghanaian businesses can compete on the global stage and be recognised for their achievements. It also encourages other entrepreneurs to strive for excellence and work toward achieving sustainable growth.
Q3: What sets ZEN Petroleum apart from other companies in the downstream petroleum sector of Ghana?
A3: At ZEN Petroleum, we believe that there is room in the industry for more local companies to present a competitive edge that elevates the standard and quality of service and end-product delivered to customers across the country. For our part, we are focused on delivering exceptional service and innovative solutions to our customers at the ‘Right Quantity, Right Quality and Right Price’.
This has helped us build a reputation for reliability, safety and value, which has enabled us to establish ourselves as a market leader. Additionally, our fast-growing retail network now has a total of 45 operational stations across the country; further cementing our position as a key player in the downstream petroleum sector.
Q4: How does ZEN Petroleum plan to maintain its position as a leader in the industry?
A4: We believe in and are committed to continuous improvement; this includes but isn’t limited to investing in our people, processes and technology. By staying at the forefront of innovation and technology, we can deliver even greater value to our customers and stakeholders. We challenge each other and our partners every day to operate with this standard in mind. For example, one of our mantras here at ZEN is “If it can’t be done safely, it shouldn’t be done at all”. We’re in it for the long-haul, which means no shortcuts and no cutting corners. Customers recognise and respect this, which builds trust over time. That is our ultimate goal.
Q5: Why is the growth of homegrown companies like ZEN Petroleum important for the development of local industry and talent in Ghana?
A5: The growth of homegrown companies like ZEN Petroleum is critical for the development of local industry and talent in Ghana. It creates jobs, supports local businesses and helps to build a stronger economy. Additionally, it provides opportunities for local talent to develop their skills and expertise, which can contribute to overall national development.
Ultimately, the success of homegrown companies like ZEN demonstrates that Ghanaian businesses can compete on the global stage and helps to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. This is something our CEO, WIlliam Tewiah, is very passionate about; and this is reflected in our corporate social initiatives aimed at education development in Ghana.
Q6: How does ZEN Petroleum contribute to the development of local industry and talent in Ghana?
A6: At ZEN Petroleum, we believe that investing in local industry and talent is crucial for sustainable growth and development. We are committed to using local suppliers and contractors wherever possible, which helps to support local businesses and create jobs. Additionally, we offer training and development opportunities to our employees; which enables them to develop the skills and expertise needed to succeed in their roles and contribute to the growth of our company.
Q7: What does the future hold for ZEN Petroleum?
A7: We are confident that the future holds great promise for ZEN Petroleum. We will continue to pursue sustainable growth and look for opportunities to expand our operations within Ghana and beyond. We are committed to delivering exceptional service and innovative solutions to our customers, and we believe that by staying true to our values of quality, safety and innovation, we can achieve even greater success in the years ahead.