SEPANG, April 8 2020: – Sepang International Circuit (SIC) today appointed Azhan Shafriman Hanif as its new chief executive officer (CEO) following the completion of Datuk Razlan Razali’s over 11-year tenure yesterday.
Shafriman was previously the head of strategic alliance in Petronas brand department.
A mechanical engineer by training – majoring in manufacturing and material science, he has been part of the Petronas team for more than 13 years.
Shafriman spearheaded the sponsorship unit at Petronas over the past decade, focusing on motorsports platforms.
This enabled him to amass a wealth of experience in activating motorsports sponsorships and strategic partnerships with OEMs from a corporate perspective, monitoring and evaluating talent development performance in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel motorsports and creating branding exposure through motorsports sponsorship platforms in the F1, MotoGP and Cub Prix.
“It is a great honour to be entrusted with this job. Datuk Razlan has left big shoes to fill, but I believe I can offer a unique perspective in this role, following my years at Petronas,” said Shafriman about his new appointment.
He said with the world facing an unprecedented challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be a good launching point for his tenure at SIC to have a strong footing in the commercial side of motorsports as he gains a firmer grasp of its operations.
“Nevertheless, in my previous role in Petronas, I have had the privilege to provide feedback to SIC on its facilities and amenities – thus offering another starting point for me at SIC while I familiarise myself with a hands-on role as CEO,” he added.
Shafriman said he aims to work with the SIC team to tackle the business shortfall in the short term, strategising the way forward amidst the current economic uncertainties.
In the mid-term, he targets to focus on operational excellence, governance and process control, with sustainability efforts and new partnerships being long-term focus areas.
“During this period, it is crucial to look at harvesting the low hanging fruits by prioritising the right focus areas and executing the best strategy we have. We need to set clear joint objectives, and seek the best outcome to achieve it,” he said.
Meanwhile, SIC chairman Tan Sri Azman Yahya expressed confidence that Shafriman would lead the team to success in taking the circuit to greater heights, building upon the achievements of the past.
“Shafriman is someone capable and passionate, and well-versed in the ins and outs of the motorsports world,” he said.
As CEO, Shafriman will oversee the completion of the SIC Master Plan activated in 2014, which seeks to turn the circuit into Asia’s cutting edge sports and edutainment hub – a multifaceted facility that draws repeat visits throughout the year.
About 60 per cent of the initiatives for circuit development detailed in the Master Plan have been executed, including the SIC Motorsport Business Park, enhancement and expansion of facilities such as the construction of a new South Paddock and Paddock Chalets, installation of circuit lights allowing for night racing for the first time.
As for Razlan, he will now be focusing on his role and responsibilities as the Team Principal of Petronas Sepang Racing Team in the Motorcycle Grand Prix Championship (MotoGP).
By taking on the role full time, he will be able to focus on strengthening activation and engagement with sponsors, attracting new sponsors, improving the team’s function as a platform for Malaysians to compete in the MotoGP, and also strengthening the team’s corporate governance.
“Although I will still be around as the Team Principal of Petronas Sepang Racing Team, I am definitely going to miss working alongside the SIC team. I wish them and the new CEO great success,” said Razlan.