Dubai: Vega Ships Management (VSM) is looking to go beyond its traditional tanker roots into other domains. Founded by Capt Ranjan Mookherjee, the Dubai-based firm intends to diversify its activities across several areas: the dry bulk sector, offshore and maritime education.
“The objective of venturing into maritime education,” says Mookherjee, “is to bridge the gap between ship, shore and various stakeholders in the shipping fraternity. Shipping is a very integrated business and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Vega sees education as one way to empower and create synergy with benefits for all.”
Mookherjee, who has been in shipping for some four decades, says he is a somewhat of a rarity having started his career at sea and risen to become a senior management professional in the domain of commercial vessel operations. He thus realises what a huge difference it makes to have experienced master mariners as an integral part of the commercial vessel operations team.
“In gaining operations marked reductions in operating costs, vessel time and space optimization, alongside tailor-made marine logistics solutions, Vega has earned the respect and goodwill of its global clients,” he says.
At Vega the team believes a charterer fixes a voyage whereas an operator can make or break the voyage.
“In today’s market, where the margins are wafer thin, a good operator can ensure that the voyage remains profitable,” Mookherjee insists.
Mookherjee has a lot of views on how to save fuel costs.
“Fuel forms the lion’s share in today’s vessel operating costs, even at times surpassing the vessel hire cost. It’s an expense where the leverage is very high yet small adjustments can lead to huge savings,” he says. VSM has a specialised bunker team which monitors and controls the cost at procurement and during the voyage along with offering guidance to ship masters on reducing bunker consumption. The vessels and agents are also very closely monitored on performance with more emphasis on minimising delays/costs which have a bearing on the bottom line.
During Mookherjee‘s long career he has donned many hats – from tanker master mariner to commercial manager, from technical manager to CDI marine and terminal inspector. All good practice for life as managing director of a shipmanagement firm. [04/11/14]