After bringing maritime training businesses Videotel and Seagull into joint ownership, Oakley Capital appointed former V. Group executive Manish Singh as group CEO and announced significant investments into developing knowledge and technology solutions.
Singh, a third generation seafarer done good, has been in the new role for less than two months but already has a firm vision for where he wants to take the business forward.
“I saw transformational potential for these businesses working with the customer base we have to bring about considerable technological change on the maritime human element,” Singh says of his appointment.
Bringing two such dominant names in maritime training under one corporate roof has sparked conjecture that the Videotel and Seagull brands might merge, but Singh quashes this speculation.
“There are practical as well as very specific brand attributes that our customers have chosen to be loyal to either Seagull or Videotel. We will therefore maintain our trading brands as they are,” Singh says.
As with every strand of shipping technology is playing a significant role in reshaping maritime learning and development.
At Videotel and Seagull this sees content being developed with the core detailed video graphic material being interspersed with 3D animation and gaming type overlays to increase the level of visual detail for the user. New user interface techniques and technology are being used in the company’s ongoing fundamental rebuild of the user experience. Algorithms directed by competence matrices, that have been set up in conjunction with clients, provide a basis for much more customised user library and modular learning and certification. Virtual reality technology is also being increasingly used in the materials developed by both brands. This creates a more immersive and engaging learning experience and also prioritises scenarios where a user can train in the virtual environment before entering hazardous environments such as enclosed spaces and chemical tanks.
Singh also reveals his company is looking towards blockchain technology to create a global standard for proficiency records management.
With mighty Oakley Capital as the new owners and Singh, a man well versed in acquisitions at the helm, further buyouts are likely.
New acquisitions, Singh says, will likely focus on software, cyber security and artificial intelligence enabled solutions.