Meet the Kalibrate team: Anila Siraj, MD of Alternative Fuels
At Kalibrate, we believe our success is driven as much by our people as our technology. Here, we meet Anila Siraj, Kalibrate’s MD of Alternative Fuels. Anila led the production of our report, The Electric Evolution.
What’s your role at Kalibrate?
I’m the Head of Alternative Fuels strategy for Kalibrate, as well as product lead across multiple product lines. My primary role is to define and implement Kalibrate’s alternative fuels and electric vehicle (EV) strategy, helping our clients, amongst other things, find the optimal locations to place charging facilities, develop the right offer based on an understanding of the EV consumer, and create and implement an effective alternative fuels pricing strategy.
What does a typical day look like?
I would say that no day is typical. With the broad scope that I am responsible for, one day can be completely different from the next.
There are always a number of existing and new initiatives ongoing that I’m involved in, as well as day-to-day product-related business. A significant part of my time is spent on activities that enhance the product offering to meet market needs and equip our teams to be able to take solutions to clients.
Whether that’s researching the evolving landscape, understanding our customer needs in these solution areas, developing the product roadmaps, working with cross-functional teams to deliver on this, or ensuring that we are meeting our client commitments across the products I own.
What do you love about your role?
As you can probably tell from the above, no day is the same as the next. It’s never boring. There are always challenges to solve and that is what I like doing best — ‘making it happen’.
There are always opportunities to innovate and be at the forefront of new initiatives, and EV charger placement is a great example of that. The EV evolution represents such a momentous change for the market and being at the heart of the solution that will help our clients manage that change is exciting.
I also love the diversity, the growth, and the fact that the company embraces change, there is always more to do and more to learn. With the continued expansion of Kalibrate, we have more expertise across a wider range of sectors. The business is fast-paced most of the time but rewarding when you take a step back to look at how our solutions have developed and how we’re improving what we deliver to clients.
Why did you choose to join Kalibrate?
I’ve been with Kalibrate a long time, and during that time the company has never stood still. When I started out I got the opportunity to travel the globe and something about Kalibrate just got me, the products and the people, the travel. I have had multiple roles during my tenure here and each role has brought new challenges, new opportunities, and new knowledge.
Each destination within Kalibrate has brought new experiences, and new insights into diverse cultures both at a personal level and the way they do business.
What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities for fuel and convenience retailers?
Understanding how consumer behaviour post-pandemic remains top of mind — particularly for convenience. It’s a fine balance between responding to a greater focus on value and convenience, much of which has come from online habits becoming ingrained, while simultaneously creating a compelling brick-and-mortar offering. Having insight to power decisions in response to changing consumer needs will separate those that adapt well from those that struggle.
Planning strategies will change, and flying blind will be even less viable than it was before. It represents a challenge for some and an opportunity for others – it largely depends on how equipped and willing they are to be adaptable.
At Kalibrate, our acquisitions over the last couple of years have placed us in a strong position to help clients navigate this change.
Where do you see electric vehicle market heading – and how will that impact charger placement strategies?
The uptake of EVs has continued to grow over the last couple of years, even as ICE engine sales have declined. Adoption is only going one way — particularly as EV models are starting to hit parity with ICE models. When you factor in the various incentives offered by governments and an improving (though admittedly still patchy in places) charger network, the case for buying an EV over an ICE is likely to get stronger each year.
For businesses considering a charger strategy, they need to truly understand their market because adoption rates vary so much across different locations. But the opportunity is ripe. Kalibrate has conducted extensive research into EV drivers and those considering buying an EV and we found that 49% of EV drivers shop for essentials whilst charging. Understanding mobility data across your network to identify priority locations is a natural starting point.
We are already working with several clients in this area. But there are more considerations beyond purely where to locate charging. Once you’ve figured out the ‘where’ and ‘when’, the next questions focus on the ‘what’ and ‘how’. How many chargers do I install? What charger network do I go with? How do I tie the chargers into my own loyalty program? What is my competition doing and how do I remain ahead of the game?
The typical dwell time for EV charging is at least 15 minutes, so charger placement strategies must include facilities that make sites into a destination. Simply placing chargers without an understanding of what you intend to do with your customer won’t suffice, especially if the competition successfully combines optimal placement with a compelling destination offering.
Want to know more about electric vehicles? Download The Electric Evolution, our exclusive report into the EV market.
Anila is speaking at the NACS Show 2022 in Las Vegas, October 1st, 2022 @ 12pm in Ballroom B. She will discuss ‘EV Economics: Fact or Fiction’ as part of a panel discussion moderated by Karl Doenges, NACS EV Liaison. View the full overview here.
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