Autumn / Winter 2021

Under the surface with Mohan Jayaram

We meet Mohan Jayaram, marine and technical director at Fendercare Marine, who is spearheading the environmentally friendly energy change policy for the James Fisher group

Tell us about yourself

I was born in Trivandrum in India and I went to school and college in India’s capital, New Delhi. Instead of going to university I embarked on the Marine Institutions programme, joining a training ship where I took all my sea career exams and worked my way up the ranks to become captain. After travelling around the world, I settled back in India where I live with my wife, Sarita. We have four grown up daughters and three grandchildren now – all living in the USA. I love to be active and enjoy hiking and cycling and I’m working on my chess with a bucket list dream of entering a few tournaments. 

How did you come to join the James Fisher group?

I held the position of head of safety for Dynacom Tankers, based in Athens, Greece, but moved to Singapore briefly in my thirties to learn pilotage and subsequently to train in ship-to-ship (STS) operations. After a stint in ‘stevedoring’ (loading and off-loading cargo) and pilotage in various ports around India, I joined Fendercare Marine in 1999 as mooring master specialising in STS. The company was just beginning to find its feet in the STS service industry, and I worked closely with Elizabeth Skinner (now managing director of Fendercare Marine) to build its reputation as a world leading STS service provider. West Africa was my launching pad and from 2000-2005, we were performing nearly 60 STS operations a month. Although, by the end of my tenure there, piracy was rampant, that work was the steppingstone Fendercare Marine needed to take on a global role in this niche business. 

Tell us a bit about your job?

My present job as marine and technical director utilises every bit of my 20 years of experience in shipping. I am tasked with overseeing the company’s day to day functioning, interacting with owners/ charterers / traders and industry organisations, to ensure everything runs smoothly. We have a pool of highly experienced STS specialists skilled at bringing two large steel structures alongside each other to transfer a cargo worth millions of dollars. Imagine - millions of dollars’ worth of equipment riding on one single person! And if anything were to go wrong the repercussions - such as damage to environment - would be catastrophic. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I have found myself in the unique position of being able to help bring to fruition the James Fisher group’s energy change policy. We have already invested in expensive equipment to handle the safe STS transfer of liquified natural gas (LNG) which, in the shipping industry, is considered to be ‘tomorrows fuel’. I was involved in this project from inception and I’m very proud to be one of the drivers of this significant change. 

What does the future hold?

The shipping Industry forms an important economic activity for many countries and our USP has always been to successfully sustain this industry within the responsible framework of the world’s energy demands. Now, clean energy has become the mantra for both developed and developing countries and at Fendercare Marine, we aim to continuously monitor the rules and regulations which govern shipping, and to interact with organisations in a bid to form a sustainable planet for the future. I believe our responsibility should be to minimise our footprint, carbon or otherwise, as a humane act for all our children. 

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