Creating Better Performers through Knowledge
Creating Better Performers through Knowledge
21st Feb 2008, Grand Hyatt, Kalina, Mumbai, India

Knowledge seen as quintessence of better performers

Shipping Academic Conferences in Mumbai attracts impressive following

Shipping Academic Conferences, the first of its kind in India, was organised by Endeavour Associates with the sole aim of providing an effective platform to the shipping industry to exchange "high-quality knowledge" in a single day exposure with the aid of experts from the industry.

Held on 21st February at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai, the central theme of the conference, "Creating better performers through knowledge" drew over a hundred-strong eager audience.

It is widely accepted that in order to be better performers, we have to constantly improve, challenge and increase our knowledge, or else it diminishes and we stagnate as average performers at best.

"As in other industries, change is a constant in shipping too. Therefore one has to constantly update learning and knowledge skills, which are the keys to improved performance and ultimately, success", stated Mr Sabyasachi Hajara, Chairman and Managing Director, The Shipping Corporation of India Limited. He was delivering the keynote address at the conference.

Appreciating the thematic intent, Mr SS Rangnekar, CEO, SICAL Logistics, Chennai, in his turn commented, "In a country like India, we have many great planners, but very few performers. To execute the plans we need more performers, and the organisers of this conference have indeed got it right."

"Knowledge is linked to the character of an individual," elaborated Mr Hajara. "When an individual moves up the ladder and acquires immense experience, this experience is known as wisdom. This wisdom then enables the individual to make the right decisions."

With reference to knowledge management, he articulated, "What is more important is management of knowledge, where you have to transform knowledge into the right information and convey it to the right persons in the chain."

His advice to the audience was: "Be aware of the ever changing global trends in the industry. Hence, in your companies, you should have "learning organisations", which facilitate the staff with learning on and off the job so as to give momentum to innovation and excellence."

Illuminating the purpose of the conference, Mr CK Sharma, Academic Advisor, Endeavour Associates, said, "The ship managers are often busy handling high value and high pressure jobs with strict deadlines, and have very little time to augment their academic knowledge base. Also, the shipping industry here has been on the lookout for avenues and opportunities to train their commercial officers to become better performers. Hence, this conference is a path to creating superior performers through knowledge."

Looking back and, ahead

On commencing with the presentations, Mr Bansi Jaising, Chairman and Managing Director, Seagate Shipping; cited Sir Winston Churchill, "The farther backwards you can look the farther forwards you are likely to see." Mr Jaising made a detailed presentation on the growth and developments of the Dry Markets.

On the other hand, Captain PS Mohan, Senior Tanker Broker, Fearnleys, Singapore, covered the Wet Markets with a presentation that included the oil demand, supply rates, and fleet growths in international tanker trades.

Captain H Subramaniam, Nautical Consultant and Principal Emeritus, LBS College, Mumbai, explicated the handling of commercial matters with Charterers, Shippers, Agents, and other interested parties by citing 3 separate case studies. The real life experiences drew a lot of interaction from the audience.

The Indian Steel Industry was next. Mr Ranjit Mathure, General Manager, Exports, Essar Steel Limited, focused on the capacity, demand and expectations of the Steel industry in India; as also the shipping challenges faced in India by exporters, importers, traders and manufacturers.

Mr S Swaminathan, General Manager, Shipping, Ispat Industries Limited, in his turn laid emphasis on overcoming day to day challenges faced by shippers, exporters, charterers, traders and ship owners.

Stressing on the infrastructure in India with reference to the major advances in the global industry was Mr SS Rangnekar, who with his vast knowledge of the state of the port and logistics infrastructure in the country proved to be the ideal candidate for a detailed coverage of this aspect of shipping.

On maintaining good health in shipping, Dr Sanjiv Mehta, Senior Specialist Doctor, Leelavati Hospital, stated the various health problems faced by those ashore and aboard, and the ways to stay fit.

Captain Milind Paranjpe, former VP of Killick Nixon Ltd. brought up the rear with an explanation of the various aspects of Bills of Lading and their role in shipping business. Citing various precedents from Admiralty law cases his presentation cast light on practices relating shipping transactions.

After the presentations, a quiz contest was held; Mr Jean-Yves Brion, Owner"s Representative, Conti-Lines NV, gave away the prizes to the 3 winners.

This was followed by an open forum during which the audience participated in lively exchanges on many aspects of the day"s topics, as well as some subjects peripheral to the conference topics. Mr Vijay Handa, Senior Vice President, Reliance Industries Limited; Captain H Subramaniam and Captain Milind Paranjpe chaired the open forum.

Captain Kamal Chadha, Managing Director, Endeavour Associates, proposed the vote of thanks; also announcing the date of the next conference of this series.

He said, "This event is a coming together of many of us, to achieve one definite end- creating an academic knot that binds us on a voyage of learning, the benefits of which will certainly accrue to the organisations we serve, as well as to ourselves. How far we go on this voyage of learning and gain from it depends on each individual among us and our collective efforts. But one thing is for sure. We couldn"t have even started this voyage without the selfless inputs of so many of you. I am expressly grateful to all of you."

"The next episode of Shipping Academic Conferences is on February 19th 2009."

The conference concluded with a cocktail & dinner party, which included a musical presentation by the Ghazal & Music Guru, Gautam Dabir, accompanied by his talented troupe.