José Pablo Rinkenbach
Ainda Consultores

Optimizing the PEMEX Workforce

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:52

Founded only five years ago, Ainda Consultores has spent a large part of its history engaged in consulting for Pemex. José Pablo Rinkenbach, Founder of Ainda, explains that the company has experience working with every division within the stateowned company, mainly in collaboration with other energy focused consultancies, and brings the macro focus to large projects where there might be any number of legal, technical and financial advisors. Ainda takes their advice, moulds it into a cohesive development strategy, and handles project management. Rinkenbach describes his company as the ‘glue’ that has held together several large-scale projects for Pemex in the past.

In terms of Pemex’s internal development, Rinkenbach believes that the company is making strides toward accepting and making the necessary changes to become a more successful company. “A fantastic example is Pemex’s development of Chicontepec field laboratories that were introduced in 2010. Results can already be seen from these labs, which are changing the way that Pemex operates. Another example is the restructuring of Pemex Exploration and Production to incorporate a separate unit for field development. The transformation that is taking place has a lot of business sense behind it, and Pemex is approaching its development with the right aims in mind.”

Rinkenbach explains that back in 2009, Ainda was responsible for first suggesting to Pemex that they should consider moving from a function-based focus to one that was process-based. “Some years later, it is nice to see that they have adopted this view.”

Asked what further changes Pemex needs in order to continue its transformation into a competitive business, Rinkenbach answers that one of the most crucial steps would be introducing incentive-based pay to Pemex employees. “The current law does not see Pemex as a business, but as a state-owned entity. This limits the ability of Pemex to reward risk-taking amongst its employees. As a result, Pemex personnel from the top to the bottom of the company have an ingrained fear of risk taking. They are some of the best in the world from a technical point of view, but until a system is established where they are rewarded for being creative, there will be no incentive for them to innovate.” Rinkenbach points out that the company is taking steps to address this issue, analysing diverse options whereby a percentage of an employee’s wage will be variable depending on performance. However, Rinkenbach believes that in order to fully incentivize workers in Pemex, a change in the legal framework that regards the company as a state-owned entity will have to be undertaken. “In the current situation,” says Rinkenbach, “I would take the same path as anyone else currently working at Pemex; it is just not in their interest to take risks given the current legal framework in which the company operates.”