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Melih Polat - Industrial Lubricants Sales Manager

After graduating from University, I began my career as a Mechanical Engineer in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. Later, I transitioned into the energy sector, leveraging my transferable industrial skills while working for an oil major.

In 2019, I joined TotalEnergies’ industrial lubricants department as an Area Business Manager, overseeing the South England region. By 2020, my responsibilities expanded to include East England as well. Recently, in 2022, I was promoted to the role of Industrial Sales Manager.

What do you do in your current role?

I am responsible for industrial lubricant sales and certain distributors across the UK, leading a team of six people, each responsible for different geographical zones or customer segmentations. Our work spans various industry categories, including cement, metalworking, food processing, steel, wood and paper, and much more.

What do you love most about your job?

I love my team. Our diverse backgrounds and nationalities enhance our collective experience, allowing us to bring a wealth of perspectives to the table. Additionally, the products we sell truly provide great benefits to a number of applications that help improve our customers’ lives. This fills me with pride when we create meaningful impact, resolve our customers’ challenges, or contribute to their operational efficiency.

Do you feel like you’re making a difference in your job?

Assessing the impact of our work can be challenging, especially when we’re immersed in the day-to-day processes. However, feedback from colleagues suggests that my team and I are indeed making a positive difference.

Personally, I’ve tackled numerous complex cases, always striving to be part of the solution. Rather than approaching things competitively, I focus on understanding people’s perspectives, a needs-based approach. After all, without knowing the true requirements behind each inquiry, finding mutually beneficial outcomes becomes more challenging.

What do you think differentiates TotalEnergies?

TotalEnergies stands out significantly from other energy majors I’ve worked with. Diversity is really important here. It’s not just something on paper; it’s in the fabric of the company. I’ve been genuinely impressed by the substantial representation of women in high-level managerial positions. It’s these actions that demonstrate TotalEnergies’ commitment to being an equal opportunities employer.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?


Beyond work, I like cooking and photography. I’ve been capturing moments through photography since 2006, with travel photography being my favourite. I’ve had the pleasure of travelling to several European countries, the USA, Turkey, and the UK, creating time-lapse landscape videos along the way.

I believe that everyone should have a serious hobby as it acts as a mental refresh and provides a counterbalance to work. Striking that balance is crucial for managing stress levels. Personally, I’ve noticed that I’m more productive and efficient when I take time off to pursue what I love.