Elektrans will sync its goals and strategies with the government's 'Make In India' initiative, says Captain Michael Elwert, Group CEO, Elektrans Group.
There have been multiple evaluations of the recently launched 'Make in India' campaign and the subsequent projects that have been undertaken by the government to improve and enable the economic growth of the Indian maritime clusters. In this light, Elektrans Group is all set to further expand its footprint globally as well as within their home base in India.
Assessing India's healthy GDP growth which continues to amplify the seaborne trade in India, I believe that India is a bright spot amidst a slow global outlook. Currently, certain areas of India are congested with respect to transport and accessibility. An increase in trade will attract more investments into the infrastructure projects, which in turn will smoothen the functioning of export and import trade in India.
The Sagarmala project undertaken by the Government of India, under the 'Make in India' campaign, is an effort to tackle the constraints in growth that were faced by the Indian maritime sector. This initiative, that announced port-led and port infrastructure development, will also focus on identifying optimal transport solutions for the logistics industry.
This project will spur the development of the existing ports and the creation of new ones to enable multimodal transport, thereby improving connectivity to various ports. Further, the plan will seek to develop the warehousing infrastructure surrounding the ports to support the expected growth in the export and import of cargo. In addition to driving skill development, the initiative will also concentrate its efforts to advance the urban infrastructure along the coastal line to uplift the current standards of living in these areas.
We, as a responsible Indian shipping group, will drive public awareness on the significance of the strong Indian ports and sea infrastructure and the resulting expansion of the maritime cluster. This, we believe, is vital for servicing the dynamic Indian and international economies.
I, enthusiastically, welcome the recent initiatives of the government and their attempts to stipulate an increased interest in reducing barriers to encourage efficient and cost-effective seaborne trade. As the Indian economy remains on the trajectory of growth, the advancement of inland waterways and coastal shipping will offer cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives to utilise railways and roadways for the domestic transportation of cargo.
The Sagarmala project, which promotes the development of the key Indian ports and related infrastructure, navigable inland waterways and coastal shipping, is another important government initiative. It will certainly provide an impetus to help us achieve our vision to emerge as a globally recognised integrated marine services provider and a leading ship owning entity.
Therefore, our company will invest its time and efforts to work in unison with the various stakeholders, inclusive of the government agencies in India, to ensure that a suitable framework is employed to elevate and sustain India's growing maritime sector.
With regards to the rapid growth of the industry, I opine that the overall ship-owning capacity under the Indian flag is yet to reach its full potential. In an endeavour to enable vessel expansion, under the Indian flag, we are involved in the acquisition of new ships. This will positively increase the number of commercial ships owned by the Indian shipping community.
The imports of crude oil in India are increasing, and there is a potential for the Indian ship owners to increase their market share of these imports. India's current refinery capacity is also expected to grow exponentially with the aid of the recent government initiatives. Thus, it will increase the opportunities for Indian ship owners in both international trade and global transactions of refinery products. Elektrans is aggressively pursuing these opportunities as a part of its overall strategy.
In my view, the chemical industry is central to any developing economy. The requirement of IMO Type 2 and IMO Type 3 tankers, for both imports and exports of specialised products, is expected to grow by 10 per cent over the next 5 years. This is sure to offer opportunities for increased trade in the Indian markets as well as further the employment prospects for the Indian workforce.
The Indian shipping industry is renowned for its competence and capability in delivering quality performance and we, at Elektrans, are extremely proud to be affiliated with it. Having completed 15 successful years in the industry, we have performed well across our verticals, expanded our operations across India and established a strong international presence in Hamburg, Singapore and Dubai. We strongly believe that having our operations based in India will grant us a competitive edge in further achieving our goals and we will benefit from the shipping projects initiated by the government, under the 'Make in India' campaign.
With our primary domain established in this consistently developing economy, we are well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities that are offered as a result of the government's initiatives as well as to contribute to the Indian economy. Also, owing to our existing global network and my exposure to the global markets, we will offer other shipping companies an opportunity to enter and establish themselves in the Indian markets.
Our recent joint venture with the German tanker operator Chemikalien Seetransport GmbH and Marine Service GmbH, to form Chemtrans India Pvt Ltd., demonstrates our attempt to provide the reputed foreign company a gateway into the Indian markets. Additionally, it is symbolic of how we have successfully aligned our growth strategies with the government's 'Make in India' campaign.
The purpose of this partnership is to develop the Indian and international markets as well as pursue business opportunities that will be mutually beneficial to both the companies. We hope to reap the benefits of co-investments on tanker tonnage under the Indian and other flags.
As the Group CEO of an Indian shipping company, I am proud and humbled to be a part of this enterprise that already has a robust base in India and that, within a short period, has entrenched itself as a reputed ship owner and strong player in the industry. My focus will be to further expand our Indian footprint with our strong and competent team of operations in India. I foresee great potential to steer the company to great heights through our strategic goals and plans.
While the markets are currently unsteady, there are opportunities that still present themselves as good business prospects. I will work towards building a diversified business portfolio that works together in an anti-cyclical manner. I believe that is the key to sustainability and the primary reason why the company will expand by going into different business verticals. It is important that the company does not grow by focusing on just one market segment.
In addition to expanding our Indian foothold, we will successively grow our Indian workforce and seafarers to pursue our growth strategies. Furthermore, it is essential to understand that the nature of the shipping business is such that it takes place on a global platform and hence, we will also simultaneously grow our international operations.
I, on behalf of Elektrans, express my support for the governmental initiatives like 'Gas4India' and 'Make in India'. I perceive the initiatives as instilling confidence as well as portraying a favourable outcome for the Indian markets. We will continuously seek to add value and constructively assist in pursuing these fine agendas that are set to boost the growth of the industry and the economy.