Making The Future: Erik’s Story
Since joining Shell’s Graduate Programme 11 years ago, Erik Miedema believed Shell supported him to explore opportunities throughout his career. This is Erik’s story of how Shell enabled him to become the Managing Director of an exciting start-up project that innovatively disrupted vehicle refuelling in Rotterdam.
Launched in May 2016, Shell TapUp began as a fuel delivery service that uses electric vehicles, offering motorists the ability to order fuel anytime, anywhere via a smartphone app. It has since evolved to providing businesses with large fleets on the road easy access to cleaner fuels, enabling its customers to also be more productive by taking over their fuelling process.
As pioneers of the Shell TapUp pilot, Erik describes his team’s journey as something that “feels like an adventure".
Merel Vis is Shell TapUp’s Customer Experience Manager, and its first female driver.
Mobile Service Champion, René den Boer, refuelling a customer vehicle.
Merel and Business Development Manager, Haye Tholen.
Venture Associate, Tom van de Verde, and Erik taking the delivery vehicle for a spin.
Commercial Lead, Pieter Beynen, and Mobile Service Champion, Peter Werner.
Merel and Mobile Service Champion, Gene Zaandam.
“Shell has the ability to allow people to shape their own future, their own rules.”
Erik had participated in a business venture competition where he pitched the idea and after several rounds became one of four that got funded to start a new venture.
Along with a strong belief in a shared vision, Erik cites having fun as key to his team’s success.
Erik recalls how Istvan Kapitany, the Executive Vice President of Shell Retail, supported the idea: “He empowered us to do it in the way we believed it would work best. I think that was an incredibly strong signal that [at Shell] empowerment came straight from the top.”
“I was considering a very wide range of employers, but I felt Shell would allow me to develop myself multi-dimensionally.”
Erik’s Shell story began in 2005 with an internship in the Global Liquified Natural Gas Strategy & Portfolio team in The Hague.
“From day one the work was exciting and challenging and the team allowed me to take full ownership. They valued my work [so much] that they eventually offered me a part-time job as an analyst,” Erik says. “I got to complete my masters, and at the same time, build up work experience in a really cool team.”
He went on to be offered a role within the Shell Graduate Programme designed to offer graduate hires the training, experiences and support they need to develop a rich and impactful career.
The Shell Graduate Programme saw Erik working on global strategy and business development projects in Qatar and Dubai. After three fruitful years, he decided he wanted to experience the customer facing side – and so he moved to Retail, where he had worked in marketing, investment management, and in his last role, as team leader for all fuel pricing and purchasing activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. It was during his time in Retail that the idea for Shell TapUp was born.
One of Shell TapUp’s first electronic delivery vehicles.
“If you want to have an impact, Shell is a place that has a lot of potential for you to do that.”
Looking to the future, the Shell TapUp fleet could deliver cleaner energies such as biofuels and electricity. Currently Shell TapUp delivers Shell GTL (Gas-to-Liquid), a cleaner-burning alternative fuel to diesel, delivered by a vehicle that is powered by renewably sourced electricity.
The world will continue to need energy and Shell is working hard to develop and innovate to provide more and cleaner energy solutions.
If you want to have a meaningful career in a company who really wants to #makethefuture, Erik thinks that Shell is a great place to start.
“I’ve never encountered any situation where people had an idea and Shell immediately said, ‘You cannot do this.’ There’s always room to display why something is a good idea, to get support, and act on it.”
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