Sidy Bane: pushing boundaries in the African oil and energy industry
From the moment Sidy Bane completed his university studies, he began a relentless pursuit to improve the African continent’s oil and energy infrastructure. Sidy’s work experience spans the wide spectrum of Africa’s ever-changing oil industry. He launched his career at Mobil, and after a decade there he decided to work for a new company, Puma Energy, where he is now the General Manager for the Southern Africa Sub-region.
Seizing opportunities to forge a career path
Born and raised in Senegal, Sidy Bane always knew that he wanted to work in business. He just didn’t know what sort of business he’d end up dedicating his life to. After moving to Paris at 18 and completing his undergraduate studies, he was working on his Master’s degree when he first gained exposure to the oil industry through an internship at Total.
After graduation, he was prepared to go wherever the right opportunity within the oil industry might present itself. “My luck was that opportunity was back home in Senegal,” he says. In the same month that Sidy finished his Master’s in Paris, he returned to Senegal to work for Mobil.
Moving along the oil chain
During his career, Sidy has seen the oil industry go through a dramatic evolution. Major companies like ExxonMobil are reducing their activities in the downstream business side of the oil chain (oil refinery and distribution) in order to invest exclusively in the more lucrative upstream business (exploration and production of oil). While large oil companies divest themselves of these downstream activities across Africa, trading companies are stepping in with more efficient business models.
“These newer companies are taking over assets from oil majors,” Sidy says, “and they’re looking for experienced people from leading companies to join them, which is how after 10 years at Mobil, I ended up at Puma Energy. I left a ‘classical’ major to work for a company that is shaping into a major African downstream player.”
“The EMBA was motivating for both myself and my company”
When Sidy arrived at HEC Paris Executive Education, he had been at Puma Energy for seven years, during which he held positions such as General Manager in Namibia, and then Zambia. His next goal was to manage a group of countries. Both he and his company agreed that an Executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) was the best way to prepare him for that transition.
During the program, Sidy was thrilled to work alongside leaders from numerous countries and industries, while acquiring world-class instruction in team management tools and practices. The EMBA served both himself and Puma Energy.
For me, it was a way to learn and grow, and Puma got an executive prepared to take on greater responsibilities.” Sidy Bane
Pursuing an EMBA while continuing to serve as a General Manager at Puma proved very demanding. The challenge was worth it though, since upon graduating in June 2016, Sidy was promoted to General Manager of the Southern Africa Sub-region, comprising 11 countries. “The EMBA enabled and prepared me to grow—it is why I now feel ready to tackle the challenges of my new position.”