The alarm goes off at 6.30am.It is time to get ready for another busy day. I never know at this stage how the day will go, but one thing is for sure it’s bound to be as interesting and as varied as the past 30 years that I’ve been in the oil industry!
First things first though, and more importantly, I get my three kids (all boys) ready for school. While ’her indoors’ starts to prepare breakfast and their packed lunches, I am in my element barking orders for them to wake up, get ready, pack bags and so on.
I think all of you who are mums and dads will agree this part of the day is probably the hardest, probably more so than the 70-plus sites that our company runs.
Finally, after a quick cup of tea, everyone is ready and I drop them off to school. I am already planning the day ahead as I make the short journey to my HQ in Harrow.
I usually speak to my bank relationship manager on my way in, just for an update on the various issues either of us may have.
As I park up, the adrenalin is pumping and as soon as I set foot through the front door, I am ready to roll. Each morning starts with a 30-45 minute meeting with my two fellow directors Raj and Tony to go over any outstanding issues from the day before and any pressing issues for the day ahead. Each one of us has our own areas of responsibility, but we also know what the other is doing.
I am mainly responsible for negotiating on behalf of the company and that can be with anybody from the bank or oil company, to a supplier or contractor. I believe that this is where my strength lies but it’s also the area of the business I enjoy the most.
Next I settle into replying to my emails and phone messages. By this time the accounts team has sent in the financial position at the start of the day and the projected position for the next few days.
Time flies and lunch is upon us. This usually involves a quick trip to our local BP/M&S Simply Food (not one of ours!) for a sandwich and a packet of crisps.
This gives us another opportunity to chat and catch up with any issues that may have come to light. I usually take about 30-40 minutes out for lunch just to recharge and get ready for the afternoon session.
If I have any meetings I usually schedule them around when the people want to see me, and I like them to be at my office.
The afternoon consists of pretty much the same as the morning phone calls and going through a variety of issues. As the clock comes around to 6pm, I get ready to put in my final shift (probably as equally important) of the day with my family!
As I get back to the house and I get out of the car, the front door opens and my three lads are waiting together with our new addition Jessie, our 10-week-old Cockapoo puppy. I quickly freshen up and we all sit down to dinner, when I catch up with my wife and sons about how their day has been.
As I listen, I am already drifting towards what the next day will have in store for me.
I spend a further 30-45 minutes after dinner in my office at home, sorting out matters and making sure that the boys are up to speed with any homework and not on Facebook!
I have to admit that even after some 30-plus years in this industry, each day is as refreshing as the first. As long as you are willing to learn and move with all the new technology, it remains as infectious as ever.
It is now getting close to bedtime so it is goodnight from me...zzzzzzz.
Sailesh Sejpal (Sej):
Job title: managing director Motor Fuel Group Plc
Career history/biog: 31 years in petrol retailing starting out as a commission operator for Elf Oil; today running 70-plus sites
Greatest achievement: getting to number 43 in the Fast Track 100 Companies in the UK this year
Most likely to say: "Sorted!"
Least likely to say: "It can’t be done"
Other interests: travel, cinema, football and supporting my kids who play in the West Herts League, dining out