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