08-10 October 2024

Antwerp expo Belgium

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Meet Mahesh Singh, one of AntwerpXL 2022’s 40 Under 40

Can you give us a brief outline of your career to date?

Mahesh: The desire to go to sea and make my career in shipping made me enrol for pre-sea training in Mumbai, India, and thus I started sailing as deck cadet. After couple of years sailing on various types of ships, I got an opportunity to work on the commercial side of shipping as an operations executive in 2006, at a ship owners’ office based in Dubai, UAE, who had few general cargo ships. With my onboard ship experiences and lot of hard work, I excelled in my job and was promoted to be the operations manager, taking care of all the operational matters of the company-owned ships.

In 2011, I moved on to start a company on my own as Trans Coral Shipping in Sharjah, UAE, and started moving breakbulk and project cargoes. Since then, I fortunately have never had to look back.

Last year we entered bulk shipping and started a dry bulk division, and it is doing well. This has also motivated us to step forward into the tanker market for bulk liquid/chemicals as well as ISO tanks in the coming years.

What is your current day-to-day role?

Mahesh: As founder and managing director of the company, establishing smooth functionality is my primary role, as well as overseeing day-to-day operations and planning and developing strategies as per market requirements to enhance the company’s brand value and profitability.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Mahesh: I would not term it as biggest challenge, but I see gaining a customer’s confidence or faith in our solution for their shipment to be the most important challenge. Once we have their faith, we can overcome all other challenges with ease and the entire shipment can turn from sword walk to a cake walk.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Mahesh: Recently, when Turkey was hit by an earthquake, I got a chance to be a part of team supporting the thousands of people affected by it. I got involved as a broker to send around 2,500 shelter homes on different sized vessels to Turkey, which became a safe home to more than 2,500 families along with hundreds of pallets of relief materials. We worked day and night to get the ships to arrive in a timely fashion, so that people in dire need of shelter homes and other relief materials could get them quickly.

What are your future career plans?

Mahesh: My vision is to establish Trans Coral Shipping as a leading company and aspirational brand in breakbulk, project, dry bulk and tankers with offices worldwide.

What do you enjoy most about the project cargo industry?

Mahesh: I had experience working on dry bulk cargoes and vessels and it is a nice sector, but once you have had a taste of project cargo, you won’t go back. In project cargo, each cargo is unique, it’s not all the same as dry bulk. With project cargo every time there is a new challenge, you try to find a solution for that, its adventures and excitement never ends.

How can we encourage younger generations to enter the world of project cargo?

Mahesh: Now is the time when technology and social media has taken over the world, and hence we can spread awareness about the project/breakbulk cargo industry through different social media. People who live in landlocked areas do not know much about this kind of profession, for them shipping means containers, but we know it is more than that. Universities should introduce more courses focusing on project cargo and it should be promoted more widely.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share on 40 under 40?

Mahesh: It is indeed a great initiative and a good opportunity for people under 40. People in our breakbulk industry are mostly known to each other and 40 under 40 gives the younger generation a spotlight amongst hundreds of people. It is a good recognition and inspiration to others who are thinking to work in this industry.

Nominations for 2023’s 40 Under 40 are now open! Enter yourself or a colleague today!

Author: Cyann Fielding, AntwerpXL 2023

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