Fleet Management Limited, one of the leading companies offering comprehensive ship management services to cargo ship owners world-wide, finds a bright future for Visakhapatnam in catering to the manpower requirement of the shipping industry.
The company with nearly 400 ships under its management with an asset value of $9 billion has its office located in the city, one among nine in India.
The city office has been extending technical and crew management of their ships for several years.
Executive Director FML M.S. Nagarajan (Aga) told The Hindu that of the 14,000 seafarers recruited by them, 10,000 were Indians. It has nearly 300 to 500 from Visakhapatnam.
He said Indians all over the world were being held in reverence for their discipline, sincerity and competence level. "We as an Indian-owned fleet management company do prefer Indians and due to our welfare measures, our retention level is over 85 per cent," he stated.
FML is part of Hong Kong-headquartered Caravel Group, a diversified conglomerate focused on providing leading maritime services, trading and logistics of dry bulk raw materials, investment management and strategic asset ownership. Mr. Nagarajan, who flew to the city from Hong Kong to attend a family get-together of officers, said there were a lot of opportunities for freshers and the experienced in the deck and engine areas.
The company is training and sponsoring bright Plus Two students for a 18-month diploma in nautical sciences or B.Sc. (Nautical Sciences).
Such candidates become a captain in 10 years, he added.
FML, set up in 1994, has emerged as the largest firm in chemical tank management. According to an estimate, Indians account for six per cent of world's seafarers.
Over one lakh Indians are working for various types of ships and tankers.
Admitting that the shipping industry had been facing a glut for a long time, Mr. Nagarajan said that at present there were more ships than the cargo.
According to Baltic Index Freight, it has remained very low. He hoped that the situation would improve shortly.
Elegant Marine Services COO Capt. Prashant S. Rangnekar, who is in-charge of FML's India operations, said shipping was a highly challenging career with good returns compared to other professions.
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