Hong Kong-based Wallem Ship Management is considering opening a division of its shipping agency business in India in a bid to tap the growing Indian cargo sector.
There was some confusion, however, as to how advanced the discussions were. Talking to local press, G Ramaswamy, Wallem Ship Management South India Vice President, said the company was “scouting for a big player to foray into this segment under a joint venture. We are in talks with one of the key Indian players and hope that an agreement will be signed soon,” he said.
However, when contacted by SMI, he toned down his comments by claiming that Wallem was merely looking at the option and was not in discussion with any third parties as yet.
“We are not a small player. We currently operate in 18 countries across the globe and have a reputation. We want to make sure that our brand image is maintained at the highest level in India,” Ramaswamy told local reporters.
Turning to the issue of the shortage of trained officers, he said the attrition level was very high and the company was planning to expand its in-house training centre in Mumbai. “There is an acute shortage of manpower. Currently, the industry faces a shortage of around 10,000 trained officers. It will be around 30,000 by 2050,” he said, adding that the Indian shipping industry was very late in identifying its potential and was well behind Japan and China.