Author: Akhilesh k. Gupta, Head of Demurrage & Claims
Important points to consider for Job ashore as a Demurrage and Claims professional
After my beautiful journey as a seafarer and then an impactful investment for skills in MBA, I was facing difficulty while I was looking for a job on shore. It was global recession time in 2009, when difficulty was not only for grabbing a job, but also a long-term rewarding career. I was not exposed to all aspects of business, though I was clear that I would be setting in a skill and value adding career, which should be in the centre of any business.
I had a very healthy shipboard learning, and upbringing of core shipping operational skills, without the distraction of market challenges. That gave me the highest confidence and no-excuse mindset to achieve the goal.
Demurrage and Claims side of the Business is not highlighted to the extent it is rewarding. I became part of Claims and Demurrage team and then never looked back, primarily is every case is a new case and present a new challenge. Those who like to challenge themselves, both on operational aspects and legal interpretation aspects, and develop project mindset, it is the role to upgrade skills daily for long terms rewarding career.
Secondly, it is in the centre of commercial, Finance,new business, innovation and provides platform for networking across the globe. Those who are looking forward to leverage their network, or build internal network and visibility, explore Demurrage and Claims profiles.
Why Demurrage and Claims profile
The Demurrage and Claims profile is very exciting, all cases and case handling procedure are unique in nature. The profile sits in the core of the business which makes it more rewarding in long term. Exposure with finance, Credit controls, operations, Chartering, Charterer, broker, agents and lawyers make it very dynamic and demanding. The profile test all the aspects of stakeholder management, which is the key for success in long term career.
As a sea staff, when you explore shore career, you already possess excellent shipboard knowledge, exposure to commercial aspects, stakeholder management, which are essential aspects for the role and pushes your candidature up in the queue for Demurrage and claims profile.
How to look for jobs in profile
Job options in demurrage are available on the company web portal, LinkedIn commercial websites and the placement consultants. Your existing network in the companies can help you connect with the managers, HR manager of hiring companies.
How to join profile
There are existing players in market, such as Shell, Womar, Maersk, Scoprio, Torm Tricon etc, also a few players are exploring options. The reason being cost of infrastructure and human resources. The existing houses are examples of success stories and business cases to look for expansion in India.
Who are Demurrage and Claims Analysts
The Demurrage and Claims analyst are part of commercial team, who are involved in end to end collections and account receivable process. For any voyage there will be freight, demurrage, other invoices and time charter hire. The analyst creates the invoice, follows counterparty for funds, resolves dispute and finally ensures receipt of money. Majority of times, the invoice billing and the dispute resolution aspects are critical. As these two stages test the ability of fact identification, contractual aspects and interpretation of various agreed clauses.
Who makes a good Analyst
The analyst has to deal with factual, contractual and interpretational aspects for the profile on daily basis. Therefore, good understanding of shipboard operations, mathematical calculations, detail oriented commercial mindset, good reading and comprehension skills would make a good analyst. The role provides a direct access to senior management, as it links actions for cash flow, which is critical in any market situation for business decision making.
A quick brief about my journey, I started my professional journey as a Marine (First) Officer, worked there for 6 years. I, then completed my full time USMBA and joined a growing Tanker operator as Demurrage & Operation Analyst, worked there for a brief period of 2 and a half years. Travelled to Australia and Kolkata then, to work as a Senior Shipping Strategy Consultant for almost a year. I returned to Mumbai and finished my next spell of 8 years with another Tanker organization as business leader. I handled various challenging cases, proceedings, demanding stakeholder, projects and teams. I must admit that it has been fantastic working in the role, and I suggest sailing staff to evaluate all career options and choose career path as per their specific skillset and goal.