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Capt S C Sood Honored with Country’s highest

Country honors Capt Sood in recognition for his tremendous contribution to the maritime industry

Capt Satish C. Sood, Chairman & Managing Director of IMS Ship Management Pvt. Ltd., doyen of the Indian maritime industry has at length received due recognition on being conferred the prestigious Varuna Award – the nation’s highest award for the maritime constituency. The National Maritime Day Celebrations (Central) Committee chaired by the Director General of Shipping, Government of India and with representations from all sectors of the maritime field bestowed the award on Capt SC Sood during the 48 National Maritime Day Celebrations 2011 for his immeasurable contributions to the industry.

Very few have matched up to the versatile and dynamically visionary role that he has played during the past 35 years in helping to catalyze the country’s maritime growth to its present status of maturity. It was this rare pioneering streak that impelled him to venture into uncharted territory in a country known to adhere to the beaten path. With limited assets at his disposal he launched the country’s first ship manning and ship management company way back in 1976 when still in his early thirties. He spearheaded the ship management business in the country with services including manning, port operations, dredging and other infrastructural development activities.

But Capt Sood shot into fame for his unifying effort in bringing together all ship managers in the country and for constituting the “Foreign Owner’s Representatives & Ship Managers Association (FOSMA) of which he became the founder-member and Chairman. He is held in great esteem for having assisted in the placement of over 7,000 Indian officers and crew for various shipping companies through his flag ship company, IMS Ship Management Pte. Ltd.  

In a joint venture with SHV Energy, a Dutch collaboration, he built up India’s first private LPG terminal of 8,000 ton capacity in Gujarat on the West coast of India. In another significant development Capt Sood also represented Malaysia Ship Yard for sourcing Indian ships to dry-dock in Malaysia.

Soon he entered grain lighterage operations, multimodal transport business and ship agency which include loading and discharging cargo at nearly all major ports in the country. He took over the management and operations of port crafts at JNPT in 1993 and a year later established IMS Shipping Pte. Ltd., in Singapore for chartering ships. He brought out India’s first shipping and transport newspaper called “Indian Shipping and Transport News” which was published in all city ports in India since 1980 but he decided to sell this venture in 2001. At the turn of the century he got into the dredging business seeing the excellent scope in the country. He owns three dredgers and is in the process of negotiating for the fourth one.

Currently he holds the Chairmanship of Mumbai Port Welfare Committee of the National Shipping Welfare Board under the aegis of the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW).   

Expressing concern over the country’s future Capt Sood says, “India needs to gear up to meet the growing demand for more seafarers, especially the mounting preference for Indian officers to operate tankers and gas carriers. We must elicit interest among the youth in second and third tier cities for taking up a sea career as interest from metro cities in this field is sagging. The Shipping Corporation of India should help in creating more training berths on their vessels which will help in developing more human resources in the seafaring field. ”

On the need to promote the growth of shipping tonnage he contends that this could happen if the government reduces various taxes and provides a level playing field to ship owners. “More private shipping companies must be encouraged to set up shop, one way being by restoring the Shipping Development Fund for getting loans at lower interest rates. Projects for deepening ports and interlinking of rivers and inland waterways should be taken up expeditiously as it will greatly boost our trade,” he concluded.

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