In Conversation with Vinay Gupta – Managing Director, Union Marine Management Services (UMMS).

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UMMS has won SME One Asia Awards 2015.

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About SME One Asia Awards – RECOGNISING SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE SMEs IN ASIA:

SME One Asia Awards was created to recognise successful Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Asia that are socially responsible.  The aim is to promote these SMEs’ sustainable growth and encourage more businesses to contribute to social development in their pursuit for expansion.

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MFAME congratulates UMMS team and Mr. Vinay Gupta for the award and below is a brief Interview from Mr. Gupta on the occasion of winning the award.

Q: Can you tell us about your career path ?

After graduating out of DMET in the year 1989, I joined Wallem as a junior engineer and became a Chief Engineer in the year 2003.  Then, I joined as Technical Superintendent in Fleet Management and came out as Technical Manager in 2009. During those times, I was fuelled by the thought of starting a ship management company. Thus started UMMS in the year 2012 as a mid-sized, personalised and customised Ship Management Company. Now we are guided by our company slogan “Happy Ships” to motivate our team to strive for happiness for owners, agents, people, ships, etc., in short everybody as a whole.

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Q: Can you provide some insights about the company UMMS and the team behind it?        

Our ultimate aim is to have a mutual trust and respect so that we should not lose people whoever become a part of UMMS and I am glad that we are still holding it up as our attrition rate is nearly negligible.  We are a service oriented company and we know that our assets are not the computers but the fingers that operates them . We see our self as a root for our people to grow along with and cultivate themselves to think, speak, and act independently for the betterment of their personnel and official life.  At present we are operating with 23 ships and few more in the line to join in our family soon.

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Q: Can you talk about that one defining moment that led to start UMMS?

My answer may not be well received in the industry but to be frank, my 9 years in office had seeded me a strong desire to start one company that gives clear dignity to the third party ship managements.  I took this opportunity to do this and for me, shipowners should see the value for money and should create an atmosphere where they can feel as one to one conversation rather than office to office . We should not act as a mere ‘commission brokers’ who can squeeze out from ship owners whatever they can.  We should add value to the owners’ money for the betterment of ships and thus increase the efficiency of the ships.

Q: Have you had any vision to start a new Ship Management company in the past?

No. frankly..not.

Q: Why did you choose this particular name for your company “UMMS”?

We thought of christening as UNISON but as it was already a registered name, we dropped it. I had in my thought that it should hold the word ‘Union’, so thought of having the name as “UMS Ship management”.  As you know UMS in this shipping industry refers something else, so we had landed with this name “UMMS – Union Marine Management Services”.

Q: In your opinion, what are all the essential traits required for running a successful ship management company?

Integrity:  Yes, it is a very critical quality to have because of the volatile nature of this industry.

Building a good team:  It is very important to have such a team which not only carry your desires but also carry forward your dreams. This is an industry where you deal with the people whom you will meet rarely in person. So it is essential to have a team that can act as a bridge between the supply and demand chains. I am happy that this is happening in our company as superintendents hail the “Happy Ships” more than us, the management.

Precisely, you should clay yourself as a ‘Ship Leading Team’, not as a Ship management Team.

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Q:What is your Secret Weapon to win over the global slowdown in economy?

Ethically and honestly I believe in fair competition.  For example, when the bunker prices were touching around US$ 700, the industry came out with the solution of slow steaming but now as the price falls to US$ 300 and even low now, are we back to full steaming?

No.

So I believe that every critical situations will teach us something and make us strong to fight back.

Q: Any strategic plans or Investment ideas for your company in today’s regulatory and market conditions ? 

No. As we are an emerging company, we see our self as young and will follow the flows.  We do not want to fall in a trap as investments, but at the same time will closely monitor the market and with our experience and knowledge, will decide the needful.  We would constantly watch out what is new in the market and adopt it if it is tangible.

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Q: We are sure that you would have been reading MFAME daily newsletters.  Can you share your opinion on MFAME?

It is really nice. I am getting daily news letters and it gives me a transparent view of what actually happens in the industry right now. I really appreciate for the updates in the commercial and technical area as well.  Every morning, I read these news to keep myself up-to-date with the industry and the news items are crisp and clear.

Q: How about the idea of UMMS being a PATRON of MFAME?

Yes. It sounds well as we can use this as a platform to share views and exchange knowledge.  I am really looking forward to this.  We would be happy to share ideas, blogs and other happenings from our end on what is happening within our Management and onboard our ships.

About UMMS:

Union Marine Management Services Pte. Ltd. (UMMS) was established in Singapore in January 2012 as a Ship Management Company to provide quality service to shipowners and operators.  The organisation emphasises quality rather than quantity.  The company has achieved rapid growth, from having 1 ship in April 2012 to 19 ships with full technical management by the end of 2013.

UMMS is at the moment managing more than 1 million DWT tonnage, has 21 modern bulk carriers (52,000 DWT, 58,000 DWT, 82,000 DWT and 98,000 DWT) and two car carriers,with at least three more ships expected to join by the end of this year.  Apart from managing ships for Kambara Kisen, Japan, the company moved into third party ship management activities and has a few ships from other Singapore-based and Greek shipowners under its care.  The company is headquartered in Singapore and has offices in India and the Philippines.

BUSINESS SERVICES:

  1. Ship management
  2. Commercial management
  3. Technical Solutions such as  technical consultancy, dry docking, new building supervision,condition surveys, pre-purchase surveys, port captaincy and on-site supervision.

DIRECTOR’S QUOTE:

As a ship management firm, we believe in service with a smile, thus delivering happy ships that inspire top safety standards.

RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP:  

Honesty, trust, integrity and diligence are some of the qualities which are core to the principles of Union Marine Management Services Pte. Ltd.. Such traditional values and an in-depth knowledge of modern marine technologies blends produce a unique company that is focused in developing and sustaining prosperous partnerships with ship owners, office members, ship-staff and marine support service companies.

The company aims to operate clean, safe and happy ships while sustaining high quality operations and stability, maintaining an ethical, dedicated and cost-effective approach and ensuring a high degree of motivation and training with a long-term view on relationships.

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