It’s all about teamwork at TNB

  • Business
  • Thursday, 29 Jul 2004

An analysis by B.K. Sidhu

On July 19, Datuk Che Khalib Mohamad Nor was conferred a Datukship at Istana Sri Menanti. Later the same day, he was at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Cheras to comfort the family members of a Tenaga Nasional Bhd employee who had been injured on the job. 

Yesterday, he interrupted an important internal meeting to attend funeral prayers for that technician. 

That is Khalib, who while at KTM Bhd surprised many employees by appearing on the railway tracks to give them moral support, for he recognised how laborious their jobs were. 

These are some of his small gestures to show that he cares. To some employees these small gestures mean a lot. And that is why many at TNB were all ears to hear what this new man at the helm of TNB had to say at his maiden press conference. 

They wanted to know what his long- and short-term strategies were. 

Khalib's message was clear. He wants TNB's income to match its capital expenditure so that it does not have to continue to borrow, and burden itself with huge gearings. Collection needs be improved; so too the billing system. 

TNB has RM2.2bil of uncollected bills, and if only half were recovered, it would help the company bring down its RM31bil borrowings. 

The powerhouse reported RM336mil in net profit for the third quarter ended May 31on the back of RM4.5bil in turnover. Earnings per share were up 140% to 10.79 sen, from 4.50 sen a year ago. 

But what really encouraged many of the employees was his statement that TNB would appoint a candidate from within the organisation to head its distribution unit. To many, that was a signal that each and every staff stood a chance to be promoted. 

As for the CFO's position, the candidate can be sourced internally or externally. 

While recognising that employees are the company's biggest assets, Khalib also believes that everyone needs to play his part, take pride in his job and deliver his best for the organisation to move forward, and teamwork to prevail. 

The working culture at TNB needs be more consumer-centric and the change must begin with the staff handling consumers. Someone pointed out that if operational efficiencies were improved, TNB stood a chance for a tariff rise. 

And with power purchase agreements revised, there can potentially be more money in TNB's coffers, as it will no longer have to make huge payouts to the independent power producers (IPPs). 

All appears to be well for TNB, but Khalib's real test will be when he releases the company's full-year results for 2005, although he was quick to point out that the good results for the third quarter were not his doing. That was the work of his predecessor, Pian Sukro, who retired on June 30. 

Related Stories:TNB keen on fresh PPAs TNB third quarter pre-tax profit more than doubles TNB priority to improve collection, efficiency 

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