Rajiv started his career in the year 1992 as a graduate engineer trainee at Essar Shipping Limited in Mumbai (Maharashtra), India. Since then, he has remained in the shipping and maritime industry, studying, implementing, and pioneering new ways for this centuries-old industry to adapt to modern-day trends.
One of the most astonishing characteristics of Rajiv is his zeal to make S’hail Shipping and Maritime Services outshine everyone in the competition. Within four years of its inception in December 2016, the company had grown to become Qatar’s largest owner of Dry Bulk Ships, with operations on six continents. From being the largest dry bulk ship-owner in Qatar, the company is on track to become the largest in the Middle East Region within the next few years owing to his relentless efforts.
He has a track record of enhancing organizational efficiency while growing sales and profit, earning him a reputation as one of the industry’s most renowned personalities. On being asked about his career highpoint, the elated leader says, “In 2016, Mr. Mohammed Khalifa Al-Sada, a veteran of Qatar’s maritime industry and the current Chairman of S’hail Shipping and Maritime Services, asked me to take on the task of establishing a non-oil and gas company in Qatar for sea transportation of dry bulk commodities. It’s been a fascinating journey for me since then.”
Rajiv considers his father as his mentor, guiding light, and pillar of strength. For him, his father’s guidance has been the source of his motivation to become a successful entrepreneur. “His best advice that has remained with me in my entrepreneurial journey is to march ahead with perseverance, productivity, and passion,” says the leader.
For Rajiv, entrepreneurship is all about taking risks because opportunities and risks are inextricably intertwined. Therefore, the optimistic leader consistently embraces new opportunities every day, along with the associated risks. He thinks that a company’s rewards are determined by the risks it takes. Therefore, as a leader, he takes, manages, and turns risks into rewards for the stakeholders.
For instance when S’hail Shipping and Maritime Services was established in December 2016, he was tasked to buy Ships for sea transportation of aggregates (stones used in the construction industry) from UAE to Qatar. With the abrupt economic embargo implemented by the UAE on Qatar in June 2017, that goal became a mission impossible in the next 6 months.
Since he was adamant about making the best of the situation, he decided to move his ships into international seas for dry bulk commodities. The success that followed demonstrated the leader’s organizational know-how, and determination to succeed. Presently, as Qatar’s largest dry bulk shipowner, the company is naturally one of the top contributors to Qatar’s 2030 vision of promoting the non-oil and gas service industry.
The bold leader says, “Identifying a worthwhile risk and then having the fortitude to take it is the unforeseen edge for successful entrepreneurship.” He believes that every move an entrepreneur makes is intimidating since nothing guarantees 100% success, no matter how brilliant your idea is. “You must take a leap of faith frequently and from higher altitudes to create and maintain a thriving business,” he adds.
UNIQUE LEADERSHIP STYLE
Rajiv not only preaches but also follows through on his words. His management approach is direct and to the point. His straightforward approach appears to be paying off for the company, which has experienced massive growth in the recent years. When asked about his leadership style, he says, he strives to drive constant due diligence and optimize the value chain to deliver worthwhile results for all parties involved.
SERVING THE SOCIETY
CSR, for Rajiv, is a norm rather than a duty. He says, “We are well integrated into our local and global societies for creating a meaningful and positive impact in various aspects.” The generous leader is involved in a variety of CSR efforts, including donating money to deserving local people in need, and investing in the maintenance and enhancement of global marine water quality. He also actively participates in developing decarbonization solutions.
He believes in making a significant difference in people’s lives in several ways. He says, “One of our major aims is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We take part in Rightship’s GHG rating, which uses one of two sources to determine a ship’s design efficiency: the Existing Vessel Design Index (EVDI) or the Efficiency Design Index (EDI).
He ensures that the company maintains the highest possible rating for the existing vessel index. He also strives to improve the rating by adding cutting-edge new propulsion technologies to improve the environment, thereby assisting in the reduction of large losses caused by poor weather as a result of environmental degradation. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the leader ensured that preventive measures were put in place as soon as possible so that none of its 185 seafarers become COVID-19 positive. The leader asserts, “We maintained a policy of reaching out to and assisting any of the family members of our seafarers who had been left behind onshore, including, if necessary, repatriating the seafarer whose presence was requested by their family back home. He adds, “This method has aided in keeping our seafarers’ morale up, even as they work in seas far away from their homes.”
Rajiv has been bestowed with honors and recognitions for his groundbreaking achievements. The most valuable endorsement of the organization’s achievements and growth capabilities came from Qatar Development Bank, which allocated QAR 70 million from its fund to Rajiv’s leadership at S’hail Shipping and Maritime Services to acquire ships to expand its business for the development of Qatar’s economy.