DMET first Graduate batch pass out, Mr Ashok Advani started his sailing
career with Shipping Corporation of India in 1976 and was with the company as
Chief Engineer till 1991. He then made the move Ashore and joined British Company
Denholm Crew Management.
In 2002, he joined Canadian based company
Seaspan and was heading India’s Manning office in Mumbai.
The energetic and enthusiastic person
that he is, Mr Advani boarded on a New Mission in August 2013, as a Head of Pacific Manning Agency, First Manning office of a pioneer company Pacific International Lines ( PIL )
Singapore and a division of PIL India to bring his expertise along with the
long standing shipping tradition of PIL Singapore into India. Today India is 2nd
largest country for supply of officers on PIL owned fleet.
International Lines (PIL) incorporated on the 16th March 1967, is a private held
company in Singapore that operates a range of businesses spanning from shipping
to container manufacturing and other logistics – related services, with the
core of their business in container operations.
Company has grown exponentially since its
humble beginning to become one of the largest private shipowners in Southeast
Asia. Today PIL is ranked as 15th
amongst the top containership operators in the world. PIL celebrated its 50th
year Golden Jubilee Milestone!
PIL commenced delivery of new build
vessels 11,800 TEUs since October 2017 onwards, adding 12 large container
vessels by end of 2018/early 2019 to its current fleet of 160 vessels.
sailors lost out on global jobs and how the situation could be retrieved, this
is the central point for discussion in the interview.
its prime position in the global ship market in the last few years primarly due
our mechant navy employees increased demand for wage revision and improvement
in service conditions when the shipping industry was in doldrums forcing the
ship owners to look for alternatives, Mr Ashok Advani, General Manager, Pacific
Manning Agency, a leading job recruitment firm in the shipping industry said.
denial of sea time for the cadets of who undergo training in our maritime
institutions, Mr Advani said international shipping lines intends to recruit
cadets whom they can train further and make them part of their institution
rather that merely give them sea time and let them fend for themselves
thereafter. So to get sea time experience from global shipping companies one
has to excel in performance so that they could become full fledged employees
after completing their course in the maritime institutions.
the current trend of automation in the shipping industry will lead to
curtailment of jobs, he said there is no doubt that the shipping industry is
looking for cutting costs. The automation attempted in the industry is intended to improve productivity
and curtail costs and not necessarily intended to retrench the existing work
force. Mr Advani said
The industry he said is facing ups and
down for the past ten years and it is keeping its fingers crossed about the
future,Mr Advani said sounding a note of caution.
Now, the Interview.
SS(Sagar Sandesh)- China
tops the employment of Maritime Officers and Philliphines in the case of Ratings.
India which used to top the supply of both officers and the ratings has now
been pushed to the fifth position in global rankings. Russia and Ukraine have
moved forward according to BIMCO ratings. What is ailing the Indian Maritime
AA-China, Russian Federation, Ukraine during
the severe shortage in early 2000 opened maritime education and training aggressively
and promoted careers at sea and today they compete with other manpower supply
countries. Philippines besides increased the supply. To be Supplier Of Choice,
we need to demonstrate that our maritime education is among the best, able to
deliver high quality seafarers and at low crewing cost.
SS- As many as 5000 cadets who had passed out of Indian Maritime
Institutions remained unemployed as they have not been able to complete the
mandatory on board ship training according to shipping ministry report. There
is however chronic shortage of officers in the global shipping industry. How do
you reconcile the contradiction?
AA- As per BIMCO, current supply-demand
situation indicates shortage of officers by 2% whereas ratings are surplus by
15%. This statistics covers for 10% of global offshore fleet. With current reduction of offshore fleet, the
shipowners are not facing shortage of officers. However many companies are continuing
the recruitment of cadets to protect forecast of shortage and add value in
bringing quality of seafarers through own groomed cadets. PIL has been
recruiting cadets 80-100 every year from India. When supply- demand ratio is
positive, demand on competency level for recruitment automatically goes up. We need to demonstrate that we bring out
cadets amongst the best and be at first choice of supply!
SS- BIMCO ICS
report says that there will be potential shortage of 92,000 Officers and that
it will go up to 1, 47,000 by 2025.How are we going to tap the potential?
AA- BIMCO statistics does show shortage
of 92,000 officers (11.7%) by 2020 and 1,47,000 ( 18.3% )by 2025. With 2017 ending,
we do not see such crunch so far. This
SS- What is lacking
in our cadets an observation from the Manning industry? How do you think they
can overcome them?
AA- Our cadets are seen hard workers with
good academic background and disciplined. They need to be motivated to be more
committed in the profession.
SS- Among the
maritime institutions is there a role model in terms of curriculam and academia
which other institutions could emulate. Is there a need for radically updating
our curriculam and bring about changes in the examination pattern keeping in
mind changes taking place in the industry?
AA- Recently we have been noticing that
DG has been very proactive in bringing necessary changes in examination and
assessment system. In addition, there is an urge to increase quality of
seafarers at both level intake and at training level to demonstrate across ship
owners globally the preference of intake of Indian Seafarer as the first choice!
DG has been very firm on Comprehensive Inspection Program (CIP) to ensure gaps
are closed at pre sea training level. We have to move aggressively.
SS-It now appears
that more cadets are chasing limited number of jobs in the Indian market is
this a temporary phenomeno or likely to continue as the industry is likely to
take some more time to recover from the economic down turn? Is there a ray of
hope in the near future?
AA- As I have mentioned, we need to
demonstrate firstly that we are the best supplier of choice. This involves all
levels, selection level of cadets, Pre Sea training level and examination/
SS- Global shipping
scenario is likely to see increasing pace of automation in an effort to cut costs.
How will it affect the manning industry in the long run? Will it narrow the
scope of large scale on board ship hiring?
AA- Indeed the development of Technology
/ Automation makes life more convenience for human being. Newer ships are with lot of automation mainly
to bring down operating cost low and increase efficiency. This primary demand
focuses on enhancing the training to be Fit for operating equipments smoothly. This
does indicate cutting down of manning scale but also to be viewed with increase
in tonnage / number of vessels.
SS- One personal
question… You do not look as your age. What is the secret!
AA- The secret of my looking younger goes
to PIL. The joy I get in working with professionals & humble team makes me
always proud to be with PIL Family.