TBY talks to Vijay Rangachari, Regional Managing Director of Maersk Training, on training clients on operational efficiency, the challenges of providing training, and programs in great demand.

Vijay Rangachar
Vijay Rangachari is Regional Managing Director of Maersk Training Global. He is a business leader with 16 years of international experience, over half of it in senior management positions across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He has broad, versatile experience across transportation and energy industries. He is a graduate from the London Business School as well as a global leadership program of a Fortune 500 conglomerate.

From where have you seen the greatest need when looking at your clients?

One of the greatest needs of our clients is operational efficiency. We believe strongly in the return on investment in training. For example, in drilling, we create simulator scenarios using information and data from actual wells to train people to prepare for what they are going to encounter. We know that there are many challenges, such as stuck pipes that lead to downtime on a rig or challenges with competency in areas like managed pressure drilling (MPD), jack-up operations, operating cyber-based rigs, vessel operations, dynamic positioning, and working in teams. The industry in the region loses tens of millions of dollars annually due to downtime incidents that can be easily avoided by addressing the underlying issues around competency and people skills. Along with upskilling the veterans, we are working on building the talent pipeline. There are many people leaving the industry because of the ageing worker pool, and the industry will not be able to solve this problem without attracting young people. Young people have to be nurtured and brought up to speed on technology. This is where what we have set up becomes critical in shortening this learning curve.

Has it been a challenge for you to train seasoned rig workers who are not used to such a practice?

We are used to working with crews of various backgrounds, and we have always taken their experience into consideration when we develop our training programs. We look at the delegates coming into our course to evaluate whether our program is suitable. We also assess people once they have done the course and gone on board the rigs. We are looking at the full picture and evaluating how we impact operations and how we can be a real strategic partner. We want to 'connect the dots' for customers and have simple off-the-shelf products as well as our specialized and advanced courses. With 10 training centers around the world and thousands of industry veterans being trained every year, we do consider this our core area of expertise. However, along with industry veterans, we are especially interested in the nationalization programs and how we can be a part of it. In the rapidly evolving dynamics of the industry, we believe it is important to have a fresh approach towards the next wave of entrants. Therefore, we are keen to work with national, regional, and international stakeholders across the industry.

What are the key programs that people are looking for in the maritime area?

One of our key maritime programs is dynamic positioning. We are one of the few organizations in the region that have both basic and advanced dynamic positioning. In addition to the usual competency training that is common on the maritime side, we also have a large focus on human factor training. Some courses involve occupational psychologists to evaluate people and determine when maritime promotions are appropriate. This gives a well-designed 360-degree perspective on the individual so that they know why they are or are not ready to advance to the next leadership position. In any industry with assets that are extremely expensive, a great deal of objective evaluations is needed to know they have the best people running those multi-million dollar assets. That is something with which we can aid organizations through insights gained from over 40 years in the industry. We also do other courses for reducing fuel consumption and anchor handling operations, which increase operational efficiency and safety. We also try to help with safety at the ports and terminals on the logistics side. We are trying to do something proactive after the unfortunate Tianjin disaster, which resulted in nearly 200 casualties in China. We are working toward creating greater awareness around dangerous goods, and how to deal with them. It is critical for everybody to be more aware, from customer service to sales, to management.