Monday, 16 February, 2009

MSC conference holds an edge

The two-day conference of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) held at the J. W Marriott, Mumbai on 30th and 31st January 2009 was akin to a home coming for the officers of the ship board staff where opportunities abounded for exchanging notes and sharing experiences both with fellow colleagues, ship owners and the management. The occasion coincided with the inauguration of the Training Institute held earlier on the 3rd floor of MSC House, on the Andheri-Kurla Road, Andheri (East), Mumbai.

At the outset Mr N Petroyannis, the chief guest representing MSC Geneva, Mr Ashok Jha, Managing Director of MSC Ship Management, Capt Nitin S Hardi, Director, MSC Ship Mgmt – India and Capt M P Basin, General Manager, MSC Ship Mgmt – India and other top dignitaries lit the traditional lamp.

Thereafter, an enthusiastic welcome was extended by Capt Hardi who was moved by the warm response from the dignitaries, guests and all seafarers who had made it convenient to attend the programme from various parts of India and Hong Kong. “MSC has completed four years of operations in India,” he said. “The total success of this great venture has been possible because of the strong support all of you colleagues here in MSC India have extended. This morning we inaugurated a state-of-the-art training institute which will go a long way in providing training for our seafarers and ensuring safety.”

“Ours is a family organisation and we operate like a family,” Mr Ashok Jha stated while welcoming all the participants and guests. “Your problems are my problems and all our problems are that of MSC’s. Things have undergone a change from the past and your views are important and I thank you for making it convenient to attend.”

In his humble inimitable style Mr Petroyannis who was the chief guest of the function pointed out that he too was a seafarer when he started his career and coming from the same background as all the seafarers present he was well versed about the various issues concerning mariners. “Later, I left the sea and joined a shore job and now I am six months past my superannuation,” he declared. “You are the motivating force that has been propelling the company. We appreciate your contribution to the company and you are neither numbers nor faces but important entities for us.”

Mr Petroyannis went on to explain that the company had put the latest simulators at the training institute which had been inaugurated that morning. He also went on to give a brief history of the organisation starting from its commencement by two siblings to the present moment when the company manages 417 ships.

“We are a 40,000 people organisation around the world,” he said. “It is remarkable that we are doing so well despite the economic downturn.” Thereafter, presenting a slide show he gave a more detailed picture of the company’s economic health which exceeded that of most other shipping companies. “Though the charter market is low and we may dispose of some ships no one will lose his present job,” he added. He went to inform that the company would be taking delivery of the new buildings and continue spending huge sums on repair and maintenance of ships to keep them in excellent condition.
Capt M P Basin, who proved to be an excellent anchor for the function offered a vote of thanks. He gave a briefing about the programme that would get underway during the rest of the day and the following one.

The Conference underscored the issue of safety which was paramount to MSCs’ ideal. The on-going safety programme received a boost with the commissioning of the full mission Bridge and Engine Room simulators. That the training programmes are growing by leaps and bounds even in the current economic scenario is just another demonstration of the top management’s commitment to safety and environment protection and the company’s vision for the future.

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