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Ashok Garlapati
Ashok Garlapati

Ashok Garlapati

Sr.HSE Specialist at Kuwait Oil Comapny

Kuwait Oil Company

My strongest skill
I am specialized in the field of health, safety and environmental (HSE) management and HSE consultancy services. Fully well versed with international safety, health & environmental regulations & treaties, development of HSE procedures & policies, environmental aspects of Oil & Gas Industries, ISO 14001-Environmental Management System, OHSAS 18001, Risk Assessment studies, EIA studies, HSE incident analysis & investigations,Corporate HSE performance management and reporting requirements. I have mentored many HSE professionals in improving their skills, achieving their international certification programs through coaching process. I was instrumental in creating HSE awareness among the school children, general public and industries through American Society of Safety engineers. I am adaptable to different situations, good at managing diverse workforce with positive attitude and good at crisis management.
Ensuring success
I completed my Engineering from Shivaji University, State of Maharashtra, India in the year 1984 and my journey of my professional growth continued even though I started working immediately. I completed my MBA while I was working. I then moved to State of Kuwait for the purpose of employment in the yar 2001 and continued my journey with my cherished profession of Health Safety and Environment. My journey to Kuwait completely changed my outlook towards HSE profession with my involvement as an active member of ASSE Kuwait Chapter. I was exposed to many international HSE developments with association with ASSE and I realized the importance of Certification program particularly CSP (Certified Safety Professional from BCSP, USA) and obtained it. I also obtained QEP certification from USA and CMIOSH from UK to improve technical skills, competency and related updates. I am currently doing aDoctoral program on HSE Management from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, India.
Brief description about me
I Ashok Garlapati hails from Gudapur Village, Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh,India.I am a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering Graduate with MBA in Marketing Management. I am certified with Certified Safety Professional (CSP) from BCSP-USA , QEP (Qualified Environment Professional) from IPEP,USA and a Chartered member of IOSH, UK (CMIOSH). I worked in Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (GoI)and moved to Kuwait in the year 2001. I am currently working as a Sr Health, Safety 881984 Environment Specialist at Kuwait Oil Company. I am actively engaged in professional volunteering in promoting HSE. I am associated with American Society of Safety Engineers and instrumental in establishing ASSE Kuwait Chapter in the year 2001. I am associated with the ASSE International Practice Specialty.I am honored with Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) award in 2010, ASSE President Award and Charles Culbertson Award. I am recently been appointed as ASSE Ambassador for ME,India and SE Asia
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Education system in India is based on historical beliefs and provided a strong platform until recent past. As the technology is booming around the world at faster pace but India could not cope up at the same pace with the developed countries. Our education system is geared towards teaching and testing knowledge at every level as opposed to teaching skills. “Give a man a fish and you feed him one day, teach him how to catch fishes and you feed him for a lifetime.” I believe that if you teach a man a skill, you enable him for a lifetime. Knowledge is largely forgotten after the exams are over. Still, year after year Indian students focus on cramming information. The best crammers are rewarded by the system. This is one of the fundamental flaws of Indian education
system. The government cannot afford to provide higher education to all the people in the country. The central government spends much less of budget expenditure on education, compared to defense and it should spend more on edu
My role model
During my school days, I read autobiographies of Swami Vivekananda and Lal Bahdur Shastri. I can confidently say that these two great personalities have influenced me a lot in my childhood stage itself. One of the important quote of Swami Vivekananda who inspired me much is "We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish to be,we have the power to make ourself, if are what we are now has been the result of past actions,it certainly whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions,so we have to know how to act now". I used to get refresh with this quote now and then as I grew up. Also another important encouraging quote of Lal Bahadur Shastri is " If you have a habit of waiting for others, then you will be left behind". These quotes and many other life experiences have inspired me as I continue my studies and even in my career also.
Degree that I recommend
Yes, After I relocated to Kuwait for the purpose of my job, I completed internationally reputed certifications in the field of Health, Safety and Environment. I did my CSP certification(Certified Safety Professionals) from Board of Certified safety Professionals, USA and QEP certification (Qualified Environmental Professional) from Institute of Environment Professionals (IPEP), USA and a CMIOSH certification (Chartered Member of Institute of Occupational Safety & Health)from IOSH, UK. I am currently doing a Doctoral Program in Behavior Based Safety in Upstream Oil & Gas Industries from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, India. I have chosen this topic for the fact that I am currently working in upstream Oil & Gas industries where in more than 65 countries nationalities are working under high risk operations. My research focuses on identifying a suitable management strategy in improving working conditions and ensuring safer upstream oil & gas operations
Important decision
Yes, there were several important decisions I have made during my career growth. When I moved to Kuwait for the purpose of employment, I have joined in a professional organization called American Society of Safety Engineers, Kuwait Chapter. I was one of the founding members of the Chapter and it made my professional career to change dramatically. I have actively associated with this organization since then at local level, regional level and global level. Another decision I have made is completing my certification courses in the field of health, safety and environment, which has really helped me to improve my technical skills at the job. Also another important decision I have made is joining in local Toastmaster International club, which really helped me to enhance communication and leadership skills. Generally, Indians are good at their technical skills and lacks in communication skills, the Toastmaster club experience made significant changes in my professional careerand personal life
My achievements
During my decade long ASSE career, I had trained more than 350 budding HSE professionals on voluntary basis, in turn they have enhanced their skills and making a positive difference at the workplace, protecting workers from getting injured. Also I participated in the ASSE Global Task force and made a significant recommendations to ensure global growth of ASSE. One of the recommendation is to reduce the membership fees as per World Bank GDP criteria for developing countries. I was also instrumental in establishing ASSE India Chapter at Chennai, ASSE UAE Chapter at Abu Dhabi, ASSE Qatar Section at Doha and currently involved in establishing ASSE Section at Oman. I am currently Administrator of ASSE International Practice Specialty with Advisory Committee members representing from more than 26 countries. For my contribution to the profession among the Community, safety professionals and at the employer, I have been recognized ASSE Safety Professional of the Year (SPY) Award in 2011.
Influenced by
There were so many people who influenced during different stages of my life. One important person, whom I can quote here is Mr Ujwal Ritwik, who was the founding President of ASSE Kuwait Chapter. He happened to be my Supervisor during the period 2001 to 2005 and I had a significant influence on my professional career as well as my personal life. His sincerity, simplicity and handling of issues provided me a life time example of practicing good. His determination and commitment in providing solutions to the professional problems in improving safer workplaces, helping fellow HSE professionals etc have influenced me to follow his steps. I can confidently say that he has most influenced in my life in the recent past in grooming my professional life.
Couple of years from now
I am currently appointed by ASSE as ASSE Ambassador for Middle East, India and South East Asia to further strengthen my cherished profession. I am looking forward for a Global President for ASSE at Chicago to serve the global HSE professionals. Also, I am looking forward for completing my Doctoral program focusing on improving safety culture in upstream oil & gas industries particularly in gulf region, which will ensure safer operations. In addition, I am looking forward to work with international agencies such as International Labor Organizations (ILO), United Nations Environment Program (UNPE) etc inorder to make a positive change across the global with respect to health safety & environment profession with an ultimate objective of promoting workplace safety and environmental protection.
Initiative to develop a country
Yes, every professional who have gained their expertise in their own field can make a positive difference in India by transferring the international best practices to India. As far as I am concerned, I was instrumental in establishing 5 ASSE Student sections at Dehradun, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad in India with a special focus of passing international knowledge to students who are perusing the HSE academic qualifications. I am also instrumental in establishing ASSE India Chapter at Chennai in the year 2012 with a concept of Think Globally and Act Locally. Also there are so many social organizations who are working towards up-liftment of people in India,professionals can join or support these organizations.
More about myself
I can atleast write with respect to my HSE profession and how India can further focus on this profession. In India, we stop learning as soon as we complete our academic education and we never focus on enhancing our skills once you settle in a nice job. We need to bring the concept of Certification programs to India like other developed countries. These programs helps the professionals to keep upto date their knowledge, skills, facing ever increasing challenges,career growth. We do have some professional societies but they do not offer such opportunities. Therefore, many professionals are going for international certification programs to enhance their skills.
My family background
I am basically comes from the Gudapur village located at Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh. Our family is having business background with agricultural sources. I have two brothers and two sisters and all are settled in business at our native place. I have come out of India in the year 2001 for the purpose of employment. My wife is a home maker and stays with me in Kuwait. I have one Son and Daughter and both are studying. My son is doing his undergradatue program in engineering and my daughter is in +2 standard.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
I always believe in making leaders rather than followers, which is a True leader is a leader who produces many leaders. I have been believing with this concept and practicing in my life. In specific, I believe that a leader should have essential qualities such as vision, credibility, action orientation, collaboration, communication, recognition & providing feedback and most important is Accountability.
Important lesson learned
Yes, if you have strong determination to achieve your target, you can achieve it. One should not have a over confidence of getting things done, which will make you to realize that you could not be able to do it later because you had a over confidence. I personally had to loose some good opportunities due to the fact that I had under estimated it or I had a too much of confidence that I can achieve it but could not achieved it at the end. So, in the life, one need to judge realistically and realize what are your strengths and weaknesses. Once you realize this, you will achieve what you want by having more consistent efforts.
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