Shipping industry blues were firmly thrust aside for a glorious evening of unmatchable networking at Foresight Group’s annual winter barbecue generously hosted by company founder and executive chairman Ravi Mehrotra and his fellow directors and staff.
Many of the most astute industry leaders, service providers, commentators and analysts gathered under the marquee in the grounds of the Mehrotra home to bask in the warmth of Foresight hospitality, which took the edge off the chill winds of the season and perennial concerns about capricious freight markets.
At this 2015 edition of one of shipping people’s favourite get-togethers, we were greeted by old friends and introduced to many new participants which make this ever-changing industry such a delight to support. Guests came from far and wide to this premier London soirée.
Who wasn’t there… Well, the list here never ends…heads of Associations, bankers, charity executives, classification societies’ representatives, the clergy, diplomats, shipping exchanges CEO’s, flag state representatives, insurance brokers, journalists and other media representatives (from all over the world), Lawyers, Ministers of Transports and Shipping, heads of organisations, P&I club representatives, regulators, seafarers, shipbrokers, shipowners and shipmanagers, traders, WISTA members – you name it, where present to honour this down to earth entrepreneur Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, whose wisdom and intuition for business as well as for corporate social responsibility is second to none; after all, for all these charismatic qualities he was awarded the Lloyd’s List 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award!
The international shipping fraternity was led by the iconic Jim Davis with his wife Hanny and one of their three daughters Katrina a specialist marine insurance broker; the IMIF’s chairman was in a great mood! There was another of shipping’s leaders, Dr. Nikos Mikelis with his wife and also one of their three daughters Alexandra, John Gauci-Maistre, maritime arbitrator Ken Maclean and his wife Norma, Frances Baskerville and her daughter Alexandra, Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP, David Moorhouse and his wife, Sue Terpilowski OBE and her husband Tom Waters from Image Line, Clarkson’s guru analyst Martin Stopford, Lloyd’s Register Nicholas K. Brown and his wife Loraine.
James Brewer and his wife Graciete; H.E. Marios Demetriades, The Cypriot Minister of Communications and Public Works which includes Shipping and the head of his office Niki Santama; Dr. Christos Atalianis and Nicholas A. Charalambous Representatives of Cyprus at the IMO; Inge Mitchel; Catherine Bacon of Cargill; lawyer Andreas L. Haviaras and his wife Koula; Andreas Chrsyostomou, the Cyrpus candidate for secretary-general of the IMO; Maria Dixon the former WISTA-UK president and her husband Paul; shipbroker Wendell Abraham and his wife; Jeremy Penn the CEO of the Baltic Exchange…
Lilian Evgenides, who recently switched from allaboutshipping to TeeKay, The Nautical Institute’s CEO Philip Wake, Maritime London director Doug Barrow, The Revd Canon Ken Peters, TradeWind’s Julian Bray and IHS Fairplay’s Savahna Nightingale, Lloyd’s List’s Janet Porter, Nicola Good, Helen Kelly and Liz McCarthy; Seatrade’s Bob Jacques with his wife Olga and many many others…
The Indian connections of many of those present were evident in the beautiful saris and salwar kameez outfits sported by the ladies. Mrs Manju Mehrotra, a director of Foresight, was as elegant as ever as she greeted guests alongside her husband and other directors and officials of the firm.
Company brochures reminded those present of the unique history of Foresight which owes so much to the guidance of its founder. Dr Mehrotra was born in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and started his career as a marine engineer. He overcame business setbacks not of his making to establish Foresight 31 years ago, and has achieved the difficult task of staying on top of the turbulent shipping markets ever since.
Philippa Wright, Mr. Mehrotra’s most trusted lieutenant and her team had organised one of the best ever events, actually one of the two which attracted over 400 guests!
Another person who was caring for the guests was the 2009 elected Foresight’s CEO Anil Deshpande, quite the active man; Ravi Mehrotra’s son Saurabh Mehrotra and son-in-law Utsav Seth with Bernie Nicely were “always present everywhere”! All Foresight’s team did their very best!
Not to forget Rebeca Jones, the young lady on the dais who once again played tranquil melodies with her harp creating the right atmosphere for such an event!
As for the food: the best of international variety with Indian recipes attracting all…and the sweets: a big wooooooooooow!