With a passion for transforming the maritime industry, Manit Chander, CEO of HiLo Maritime Risk Management, harnessed the power of the latest technology to meet the needs of the maritime industry.
Behind the scenes
From a very young age, Manit’s world revolved around ships. It was in his blood. His father was a senior naval officer, so he frequently visited ships and aircraft carriers. He always knew that he would pursue a career in the maritime industry. He used to joke that if you pricked his finger, instead of blood, you would find saltwater.
He started his career with a Singapore based tanker operator. To pave his career in the right direction, he decided to expand his academic base. He completed his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Nautical Science from the University of Mumbai in 2003. Then, he took a sabbatical to attain his Master of Business Administration degree in Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Finance from one of the world’s leading business schools – London Business School. With this, he was able to add more arrows to his quiver.
He gained valuable real-life experience in the management domain with London Business School and while working briefly as a management consultant. Then, he joined forces with Shell and took the onus for the Global Strategy Manager role in the Shipping and Maritime domain.
Knowing the hidden potential of technology and its scope in the maritime industry, he took matters into his own hands and nurtured the kindling of HiLo Maritime Risk Management into the raging fire which it is today.
Learning as you grow
While fueling the growth of the company, Manit came across many different challenges. It is important to learn the hidden lessons and move forward to progress.
Manit expresses that there are three crucial things that he learned while scaling up the company. The first is simplifying the services for the customers. It is vital that, as a company, the team is able to explain the services and the features of the product in a way anyone can understand. ‘If a product is too complicated to explain’, he says, ‘then you don’t understand it well enough’.
The second thing revolves around creating a market space when you step in with a new and unique idea. To expand the customer base, people must resonate with the company’s motive behind the product. Creating a complex and unique product is not enough to scale up in the market. HiLo is a company with a purpose, to save lives in the maritime industry, and that purpose is the driver for everything they do.
While fueling the growth of the company, it is crucial to believe in the idea and back it up all the way to the end. The most challenging aspect of being a pioneer is staying in the field and making a unique presence while evolving with the capricious nature of the market. Adapting to new changes and remembering the core mission is the formula for winning the marathon.
The third thing he realized was understanding the benefits of an agile mindset. The framework allows the team to pick up new ideas quickly, test them out and see if they work. Failure is ok – it creates learning and the opportunity to try something new with a better understanding. He already possessed this trait in his personality, the challenge was to apply it in the company’s operational framework, and he did it with flying colors.
Transforming the industry with HiLo Maritime Risk Management
HiLo Maritime Risk Management identifies the hidden risks associated with the maritime industry. They analyze different data sets using technologies like Big Data and predictive analytics to understand the relationship between small daily issues and catastrophic incidents. They highlight the key areas for each company and give them detailed information about the risks by analyzing a vast amount of data.
The company has been successful in debunking the myth that ship owners don’t share data. All the entities in the maritime industry have always blamed ship owners for not sharing valuable data. However, HiLo has been successful in breaking these shackles as they are getting data from over 4000 vessels across 50 companies.
The team at the company made it possible by giving shipping companies real results from the data to benefit their fleets. Now further, HiLo aims to get data from all the other entities involved in the industry other than the shipping companies and owners to come forward and share their data so that they can improve maritime safety on an even wider scale.
Being the first company to provide these unique services keeps them at the top of the industry. To stay ahead of the curve, they keep an eye on competitors and, more importantly, evolve their products and services as the industry evolves with time.
Manit believes that the team focuses on doing the job for the customer and providing results that make their lives better. Like Manit, many of the team are ex-seafarers and are dedicated to saving the lives of people just like them. Manit expresses that trust and transparency are two crucial traits that the company boasts. HiLo maintains proper trust and transparency with its customers to build long term relationships.
Life as CEO of the company
As the CEO of HiLo, Manit indulges in strategic planning to steer the company in the right direction, following its core mission while adapting to the evolving industry.
He also feeds the hunger of his nerdy side by staying involved with the data scientists and other expert teams to manage everything. He and his team get a constant dose of motivation from the company’s founding principle. Every action is rooted in saving lives.
Coming to the personal front, he loves to play golf, read books, and exercise. He cherishes the time spent with his friends and family and looks for corners to read or listen to audiobooks. To keep his body and mind fit, he hits the gym regularly.
Future prospects for the company
Manit states that the company aims to become the largest data center in the maritime industry. They are looking forward to bringing in more data from the public domain to create value for all the entities involved in the industry.
The industry has a lot of hidden potential, and HiLo Maritime Risk Management is all set to explore it.