When it comes to survival in a crisis-hit industry, diversification is the key every time, says Vietnam’s leading Oil and Gas training provider PVDTraining. And here they explain how:

Not many individuals living in developed countries today can be aware of the precarious performance of the oil and gas industry in recent years. From an over-performing sector to one which has plummeted over the past couple of years in particular, it’s seen thousands of jobs sunk and projects stalled without a resurface date.

So, how do companies such as PVDTraining end up not just coping, but excelling at such a time? Well, for starters the Vietnamese based organisation – the biggest in the country – and a subsidiary of PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation, has diversified and spread its expertise over three core business areas. These are Training and Certification, Manpower Solutions (ie supplying a certified workforce) and Petroleum & Marine Technical Services.

Diversification strategy keeps PVDTraining Afloat

What this means is that the company which was founded in 2007, has managed to absorb the shock of the oil price falls and subsequent shut downs in the market. Although, by no means was it unaffected.

“Certainly the oil and gas industry has been in a catastrophic recession for a couple of years now, thanks to the dramatic fall in oil and gas prices,” said PVDTraining CEO Bui Thanh Van  “To the extent that many oil and gas companies either closed or found themselves on the brink of bankruptcy.

“Here at PVDTraining, we are the leading supplier of training for the oil and gas industry in Vietnam, yet even we are still facing tough challenges to maintain and boost our sales of services to clients.”

Oil and gas industry makes slight improvements

Could the situation possibly be picking up though? Early in October the markets showed oil demand in India has risen by 14 per cent this year, making India the third largest oil consumer in the world. Multinational operator British Petroleum (BP) has already put down a blueprint to open 3500 new fuel stations in the country.

At the same time there has been renewed interest from investors in the energy sector, thanks in part to the agreement in September by the Opec oil cartel to cut back on production. It has caused the price of a barrel of Brent Oil (the industry’s benchmark) to rise to $50 per barrel.

PVDTraining extols virtues of trust and sound leadership

PVD also credits its “impressive leadership” as well as its “values of honesty and quality” for ensuring it survived as a company when its competitors sank.

“We’ve always placed trust highly and made it an integral part of our values,” Bui Thanh Van added. “It means that a client can always be assured of a first class services and an extremely high quality product.”

And indeed the company has achieved accreditation from both the International Well Control Forum (IWCF) and Offshore Petroleum Industry Training (OPITO). This allows them to supply world class qualified manpower, such as drilling crews for oil rigs, offshore platforms and onshore installations, construction yards, oil and gas industry maintenance sites and fabrication projects. The expertise their training provides not only results in better performance but also safer standards and therefore fewer accidents.

Introducing other industries

Fortunately for PVDTraining they don’t simply rely on the oil and gas sector for clients. Related industries such as Marine, Construction, Mining and Shipbuilding also benefit from the firm’s training facilities. Their Technical Services division, for instance, offers safety and maritime training, electrical and instrumentation engineering, safety solutions in fire fighting and skills in scaffolding & steel fabrication.

The company is also in partnership with safety appliance manufacturers around the world, training individuals on specific pieces of equipment such as lifeboats and launches.

Much of this is completed in PVDTraining’s two hectare large facility in Vietnam’s Dong Xuyen Industrial Zone in Vung Tau City (also the harbour for rigs and ships in Vietnam). The centre – which won our Business Worldwide Magazine Award for Best Well Control Training Facility –  includes both a 100-square-meter and a 300-square-meter swimming pool for Offshore Safety Training, an open fire yard for Fire Fighting Training, a 1000 square metre technical workshop, a Marine & Life Raft workshop and the aforementioned IWCF Well Control Simulator. To offset the technical side there are also rejuvenation rooms and saunas onsite. Meanwhile, PVDTraining also has an office in both Ho Chi Minh City and Yangon in Myanmar.

Online training and other IT solutions

Aware of the need for cost-cutting within the industry, PVDTraining are able to provide inexpensive solutions for companies both in Vietnam and, in fact, around the globe – thanks to their online course accreditation facility.

Technical training courses can be taken 24 hours a day and 365 days a year (in other words, at the convenience of the student). Depending on the certification level they can vary from 15 minutes to three hours and all that’s required is a computer and a good internet connection speed.

Meanwhile, the company’s Petroleum Open Learning Programme (OPITO) provides training in Oil & Gas Well Technology, Petroleum Processing Technology, Oil & Gas Electrical Engineering Systems and Subsea Technology. The certification is recognised by employers in more than 45 countries and is especially beneficial for new starts or those already in the industry and looking to make themselves more employable by adding to their skills base.

Because the courses can be done at home there are no travel expenses and the candidate can choose his or her own work life balance schedule.

And as for the future of PVDTraining?

“We’re not a company which gets complacent,” added Bui Thanh Van. “We know there are many challenges that lie ahead. The Oil and Gas market shows no real signs of rebounding. There are also an increasing number of companies right now who are expanding their scope of services in order to survive, and this tends to centre around training provision.

“However, we are growing quickly and have already broken geographical borders by expanding worldwide. Ultimately we aim to be the most renowned and reliable global provider of safety, emergency, vocational trainings, manpower and technical solutions to the Oil and Gas industry. Our current expansion plans take in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, for instance.

“Certainly, if there is one thing we are particularly confident about when it comes to the future, it’s the fact that our business wisdom will always ensure that we are placed at the forefront of any innovations within the industry.”