The SCI’s Worldwide Agents Meet 2012 commenced in Taj President on  February 27, 2012with  agents worldwide participating in the meet representing Far  East,  Indian  Subcontinent,WestAsia Gulf,Western Europe,Mediterranean,Black Sea, East andSouth Africa,Red Sea,USAetc. The meet began with auspicious lightening  of  lamp by the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Shri.S Hajaraand Functional Directors of SCI. Ms. Usha Jejurikar, Sr, VP(P&S)  opened the worldwide agents meet 2012 and welcomed all the esteemed SCI officials and world wide agency houses.

The meet started with keynote address by CMD, SCI, Shri S Hajara who welcomed the worldwide agents and touched upon the economic downturn in the globe and its adverse impact on shipping industry and expressed that 2011 had been the worst year in several decades. It had  not only been the the economic crisis but also the natural calamities that have added to the situation. The slowdown of US, EU and relative slowdown ofChina added with disasters caused due to flood Tsunami, earthquake  etc inJapan and other countries  impaired the situation of the industry all over. But in this downtime, LNG shipments had seen a new growth and demand and it appeared to be the preferred business in today’s environment.

The demand and supply equilibrium had been under pressure and supply was expected to come down only beyond 2012. Mr. Hajara stated that SCI had adopted various measures in order to gain market share and sustain its presence in the market.Indiawas the second fastest growing economy in the world and SCI was considered to be strong enough to combat any downturn. He also mentioned that in 2011, the Indian tonnage had crossed 10 million gt while cargo handling capacity of Indian ports exceeded 1 billion  tons mark.Indiawas growing and SCI was proud to be one of its successful contributors.  He also referred to SCI achieving various milestones in 2011, the most significant of which was its completing 50 years of dedicated service to the nation, which was commemorated at a function graced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.  He also referred to various awards and accolades won by SCI in 2011 and commented that SCI could continue to grow only with concerted efforts of all concerned – i.e. all the employees of SCI as well as all its agency net works all over the world.

Director (Finance), Shri B K Mandal welcomed the gathering and talked about the financial crisis around the world which  also affected the SCI’s financial performance during the year. He stressed on the necessity for improving the top line, bottom line and cash for the Company, to ensure uniform growth of the company.

Director (P&A), Shri Kailash Gupta addressed the gathering and talked about the tough phase through which the shipping industry was passing through. He indicated that not only inhouse efficiencies were to be improved but agents were also expected to increase their efforts for better performance of the SCI. He stressed on the importance of the positive cash flows in the business through Operations.

Director (L&PS), Shri J N Das welcomed the gathering and  stressed upon the operational performance and devising sustainable strategies to grow. Today major shipping lines had bigger capacities and they encashed on the economies of scale due to low slot cost. Hence it was unviable to operate with smaller vessels with high slot cost. Deployment of bigger ships for SCI meant requirement for bigger market share to fill up the slots to make it viable hence he stressed that agents needed to reorganize and should meet the market dynamics of our business. Liner business was, of cyclical nature and it was essential to have flexible strategies to adopt to various situations. Even though the year 2011 experienced depressed freight market, it had been largely stable. He further stressed that in the two day’s sessions, discussion would be held for various strategies to enhance business, cut down cost, increase revenue and operate services efficiently towards making the business viable.

Director (T&OS), Mr. A K Gupta addressed the gathering and enlightened the participants about the SCI’s acquisition plans and progress of the offshore services of SCI.

Director (B&T), Capt Sunil Thapar greeted all the participants and stated that 2011 had been a difficult year for the bulk and tanker business.  He, however, looked forward to a positive year ahead.


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