After four groundbreaking years as head of the UK Ship Register (UKSR), Debasis Mazumdar is moving on to become CEO of the London-headquartered St Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry (SKANReg), with a mission to drive further growth for the ambitious ten-year-old Caribbean flag state.
He succeeds Nigel Smith in the role from August 10 and will also take over from him as International Registrar after a familiarisation period of three months. Mr Smith, who conceived the SKANReg business plan in 2004 and has led the operation since it became active a year later, will now focus on his other government post as Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO.
“Debasis has a proven track record at one of the world’s leading ship registries, ” says Mr Smith. “His appointment underlines our intent of becoming a Top 20 flag by tonnage over the next ten years and continuing to climb in the Paris and Tokyo MoU quality rankings.”
The UKSR is part of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), where Mr Mazumdar has worked in various roles since 2004. Explaining his move, he says: “I am thankful to the MCA for a remarkable journey with diverse responsibilities that added to my experience. At UKSR I gained valuable commercial experience, notably during our landmark worldwide marketing campaign, which has given me the taste for an exciting new challenge. The opportunity to build on the proactive foundations of SKANReg was too good to resist.’’
Under his leadership, the UK flag was successfully promoted in new overseas locations such as Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Greece and Cyprus. Alongside this, UKSR continuously maintained its position as one of the top performing flags in the Paris and Tokyo MOU White Lists with a consistently low Port State Control (PSC) detention record.
SKANReg is on the mid-ranking Grey Lists of both the Paris MoU – covering Europe and the North Atlantic – and the Tokyo MoU for Asia and the Pacific. Mr Mazumdar will work towards a target of reaching White List status within three years.
Meanwhile he has been briefed to lead a major rise in the number as well as the quality of ships registered – without forgetting the traditional client base in developing countries. Growing at an average of 120 new registrations per year, the current SKANReg fleet of 688 vessels totals 2.8m GT and ranges from general cargo ships and small tankers to accommodation barges and jack-up rigs. Under his business development proposals, Mr Mazumdar has identified the LNG and LPG sector as a prime growth area and is aiming for a significant annual increase in fleet tonnage.
“We are looking for a higher dimension of business from quality ships and owners, ” he stresses, “but equally the fleet’s safety record will depend on SKANReg maintaining the highest levels of customer service. Our utmost support will be given to preventing loss of life and marine pollution.”
The 54-year-old graduate marine engineer was at sea on various ship types for 11 years from 1984, rising to chief engineer, before ten years as a senior surveyor with classification society the American Bureau of Shipping in India, China and Dubai. He has performed more than 400 audits as a qualified lead auditor for ISM/ISPS/ILO/ISO 9000 & ISO 14000 Standards. On joining the Southampton–based MCA, he spent five years as a field surveyor and then worked as a PSC officer, customer service manager and head of ISM/ISO certification until his promotion to UKSR head in June 2011.
Mr Smith, 59, was also a seagoing engineer officer. After 12 years, he came ashore in 1984 to work as a technical superintendent with Unishipping, technical director with Klaus E Oldendorff in Cyprus and senior superintendent engineer with Seahorse Ship Management. In 1992 he joined UK-based shipyard agency Marine Marketing International as technical marketing manager and three years later led a management buyout to become MD and principal shareholder. Agency consultancy work involving St Kitts & Nevis led to his appointment at SKANReg, where he will continue to assist with marketing projects in addition to his IMO role.