Hiti Taluja FICS finalist in the ‘Young Maritime Professional of the Year’

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2016

Hiti who is an Australia and New Zealand branch committee member and was the branch Education Officer till last year was recently interviewed by Lloyds List Australia.

Find below a copy of the interview.

Hiti is also finalist in the 'Young Maritime Professional of the Year' category which forms a part of the 'Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards' 2016 which is to be held in Sydney on 16th November.

Best of luck to Hiti!


You can read the interview directly on the Lloyds website or here below.


THE GRILL: Hiti Taluja

David Sexton - Melbourne

What does your role entail?  
My current role is to lead and manage the chartering operations for inbound/outbound cargo (bulk, break-bulk, liquid and container vessels) and develop innovative strategies to optimize the sea freight operating budget of $100 million per annum. I also manage relationships with external partners to effectively resolve disputes, mitigate risks.

How did you get started in the industry?
In 2002, I started working for one of the biggest ship broking houses in India, Interocean Group of Company.  Having operated for more than 50 years and being spread across the Indian coastline, it was a privilege to be associated with. I had opportunities to travel to a number of exclusive remote ports; my favourite being Bhavnagar (graveyard for ships) and Vishakhapatnam (anchorage load). During my work tenure, I was always fascinated to see huge vessels, their structure, the power and the capacity to hold such enormous quantity.

One of my key contributions towards the company's growth was to assist them in gaining ISO 9000 certification for their ship broking and agency division.  With my increasing awareness of Interocean's profile, I was offered to join their chartering division team as a post fixture operator. Working with a team of industry leaders, I soon realised the need to increase my knowledge of the shipping world. Hence, I worked towards gaining Membership of Institute of Chartered Shipbroker (London).

How did your career develop?
Further in my career I got an exciting offer when Cargill Fertilizer merged with Phoschem to form Mosaic Fertilizer. I was given the opportunity to travel to Tampa to increase my knowledge about fertiliser and chemicals. My role as commercial officer was not only to charter vessels but to also ensure that the product reached our prime customers in time. During my stay, I was mentored to trade fertilisers to various private and public sectors across the globe.

What brought you to Australia?
In 2006, I moved to Australia in search of better career opportunities and a dream to achieve. To step foot in an Australian fertiliser company and with no local experience, I started with a Shipping Admin role with Incitec Pivot. While working in the admin role, I was always inclined towards assisting the operations team. After which I slowly progressed through different roles.

What social issue do you feel strongly about?
Shipping has historically been a male-dominated industry and that tradition runs long and deep. Throughout my career, I have experienced that being a young woman in a chartering role isn't always an easy ride. The maritime industry needs more women, particularly in leadership roles. We need more support of government agencies, as well as international and regional bodies to facilitate the implementation of gender equality in the maritime industry.

How do you overcome challenges at work?
A 'can-do' approach is critical. It is a combination of confidence and attitude to life in general.  Be prepared to work outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Grasp opportunities and be willing to take risks. Don't take it for granted that your career can't progress as far as a man's. As a woman, I have managed to forge my career. It is possible! Most importantly, set goals and work with passion. You can only get what you dream for if you have the dream and are striving to achieve it.

What do you do in your spare time?
Every Saturday my daughter and I attend Bharatanatyam (Indian Dance classes). We also enjoy 'experimental cooking" (my daughter's words!) together - our kitchen has every gadget you can imagine.

If you could do one thing to change the world for the better, what would it be?
Change perceptions of gender roles - men can cry and women can run a business. A man is not weak if he cries and a woman is not weak if she compromises to keep the family unit strong. Keeping a family together is very similar to keeping a business together

What is your guiding philosophy? 
Dream big and don't let anything stop you.