IRClass, the Indian Register of Shipping, has held the first meeting of its Advisory Committee in Singapore.
The purpose of the committee, which draws members from Singapore’s leading maritime and offshore companies, is to give expert guidance to IRClass in strengthening its relationship with the Lion Republic’s maritime cluster and across South East Asia.
“In our forty years, we have achieved considerable success among Indian shipowners and have recently become a proactive member of the International Association of Classification Societies,” Arun Sharma, chairman and managing director of IRClass, told the committee, “Now we are ready to move forward, expand our footprint, and pitch our competence and credibility to global shipowners.”
“In our relatively short existence to date, we have gone some way beyond the simple provision of classification services,” he said. “We continue to invest heavily in training, inspections, design appraisal and quality certification, including business advisory services.”
“Life begins at 40, they say,” he added. “We are eagerly looking forward to our next 40 – and beyond.”
The committee discussed the aims and objectives of IRClass in Singapore and South East Asia, and advised IRClass to focus on educating the markets not only on its classification capability but the range of its portfolio of services.
The committee also recommended emphasis on practical solutions to shipowners’ challenges – including software development.
Panel member Venkatraman Sheshashayee of Miclyn Express Offshore said this was well within the class society’s reach as software IRClass developed as far back as the early 2000s was then at least five years ahead of its time.
Mr Sharma confirmed that IRClass is in active dialogue with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), viewing official recognition from one of the world’s most admired and efficient flag administrations a vital priority.
“We are currently recognized by 26 flag states, and as Singapore is one of the most proficient and experienced maritime flag administrations as well as among the world’s most respected and credible, we would obviously be delighted and proud to achieve its recognition,” confirmed Mr Sharma.
Broadening its engagement with the other regional states was also suggested by the committee, and IRClass was able to confirm that the process to open Malaysia office is at an advanced stage. Moving ahead, in conjunction with Malaysia and existing offices in Singapore and Thailand, IRClass intends to open in Indonesia, Vietnam and The Philippines, where it will also seek official recognition from those states.
IRClass has classed close to 1,700 ships including oil tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and chemical tankers & close to 11m GRT to date. By 2020 its aim is to double that amount.
Deepening its ties with Singapore’s maritime cluster and relationships with other regional states is a major and strategically planned step in that direction.
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