Article

Seven questions for Capt. Gajanan Karanjikar, President at All India Maritime Pilots Association


published on 22 April 2021 219

Name: Capt Gajanan Karanjikar

Current title: President , All India Maritime Pilots' association

Current organisation: AIMPA

"With versatile experience over 32 years in the shipping industry. I can bring to the table an all round view on shipping with a multi-dimensional aspect from commercial to technical." "I have an Extensive experience in vessel management from all aspects of ship management including commercial to Marine insurance. I am a fast learner and accurate with a keen eye for details. Have good knowledge of reviewing various work procedures and ISO certification process in order to get operational efficiency and man management". Have worked with different nationalities and hence have required skill sets to manage and lead a team of people to set goals. Master Mariner, Multi-modal Transport Expert.President-All India Marine Pilots AssociationIIM- Visiting faculty on warehousing & LM.Member- HBR Advisory Council (USA)Member- CII- Steering Committee- Port Business Blue Economy, Social activist, Writer, Executive Coach, Guest Speaker, Metamorphosis leader.

1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

AIMPA (All India Maritime Pilot association) is an NGO type Organization working for safety and security of Indian Maritime Pilots. Maritime pilots are the local experts in Navigation in a particular port, who navigate ships in Port waters /premises and are highly skilled. Solidarity in them is a very big challenge. When one heads an NGO like this we need to be very diplomatic in approaches as well as dealing with personalities which I find most inviting. The experts in this kind of field have their own flair in dealing with things and everyone is uniquely skilled, so the task of bringing them together is a humongous one.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Unfortunately the story has a tragic beginning, One of the Maritime Pilots in Mumbai died in an accident, and then the uestion arose of his family welfare. The mariners of like minded Idea to support this profession got together and idea developed a steam to form an Organization which will work selflessly for safety of the Maritime pilots in India. The very thought crept in mind to bring solidarity in Maritime Pilots pan India. It is a difficult task but not impossible. We all decided to work on ground for their safety and bring awareness to all who are involved in dealing with these maritime Pilots. Being a founder of the idea and well reached source in the Maritime Industry in India, I was blessed with the responsibility to head. I am doing utmost what I can and I hope no one gets injured under my watch let alone losing life. I just don't pray but work for their wellbeing and it gives me a lot of satisfaction.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

when you work for an organization like an NGO, which in turns works for the safety of people. there are no working hours. I have been up the whole night up when one of our pilots had an accident. so there is no planning of day or night, it is just that we need to look at all dimensions where the help can be brought together. such NOGs don't have a structure of work because the situations under which these Maritime Pilots work are dynamic. I need to build a lot of resources, network and presence world wide to connect to people.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Leadership is all about serving others. One has been a conversation and servant leader. A leader is expected to have a solution for the team and essentially a problem solver. I have learnt all this in my 32 years in the Shipping career. I learnt it the hard way but yes now I am happy that I am imparting that knowledge to academia as well as to the professionals. I am an executive Coach to a small enterprise leadership who aspire to be big one fine day. They will if they follow the path of serving humanity and the well being of others.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Peter Drucker is my GURU in Management. I have learnt a lot from his writings. Marshall Goldsmith has taught a lot to me through his pearls of wisdom. I am a fairly good reader and have been reading self help books for the last 15 years. The combined impact of these readings have been on my good thinking to help others in crisis no matter what. The leader has to stand strong on the ground, set an example to his team. in creating trust and belief. I can name many books. What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful- Marshall Goldsmith has impacted my early days of aspiring leadership.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Capacity is subjective to the size of enterprise. The large enterprise has a lot of diverse talents. leadership should be able to hand pick them not based on the biased views. A leader has to be a visionary with a plan of exception of that vision through a mission with a team. That team is not of few people, but he should welcome a dissent as well because that sharpens the opinion on actions to be taken. Today the leadership is changing, and undergoing metamorphosis. The thought leaders of today are busy fore sighting and rightly so, to take their organisations ahead. I think that would be the key to take the Organization to "build to last" kind.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

I think meaningfulness is relevant in times. When I used to work on Ships as a seafarer, there used to be so many challenging times where the leader needed to hold the team together. A ship's captain is a know-it-all kind of person where he can not go to his juniors for advice or opinion. He is THE expert in his field of work, rather supposed to be. But sometimes you do learn from flared young minds of seamen, who would be like god sent to give a piece of advice. The true leader has listened to that as an inner voice. I was caught up in the deadliest sea storm in a decade in 2003 in Pacific Ocean once, the team did an excellent job in advising me which I would not have thought as evasive action, probably being occupied in so many things. We survived the storm but the ship was badly battered. There are many exciting stories that come to my mind when it comes to sea voyages.
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