By Charmaine N Clarke
After years of being at the helm of massive ships, followed by consultancy jobs in the maritime industry and a CEIBS MBA, Captain Jitesh Jaipuriyar now runs his own shipping and trading company that operates out of Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and India. With most of his clients from China and the EU, it’s a career in which he can use his business school research on network marketing, and all the nuances he picked up while on an EU-China BMT scholarship-funded semester on exchange at Manchester Business School.
Originally from India, Jaipuriyar is a perfect example of how the EU-China relationship impacts people from all over the world. In fact he believes the scholarship that gave him a chance to study abroad, combined with the China knowledge gained at CEIBS and from living in Shanghai, have positioned him perfectly to have an impact on the global maritime industry. For now, his focus is on the EU and China – a smart move as these are markets whose waters he already knows how to navigate.
“An MBA from CEIBS is definitely a great career move for anyone. A semester abroad, anywhere, is icing on the cake. But a semester in an EU state provides an EU-China perspective that can open many doors in the long run. It enhances your résumé in terms of your understanding of diversity,” he says. “While at first glance the EU and China may appear to be distinctly different from each other, in reality they have a lot in common.” This fascination with the relationship between the EU and China influenced his studies at CEIBS. He did general management and spent a fair amount of time looking at how an increase in the movement of cargo and trade flows between the two sides could lead to value creation. He also took a fresh look at the well-known concept of guanxi, showing how it could yield positive results within the EU if practiced with just the right amount of finesse.
Jaipuriyar added all these new experiences and knowledge to his more than a decade in the shipping industry. “My original plan was to work for non-shipping MNCs after I finished my MBA. And I did join a French MNC in 2008 as India head for its supply chain. But I felt that having led extraordinary roles within the shipping industry, which warranted an execution of immaculate leadership, I should not let go of that competitive advantage,” he explains.
His next move was to join Tata Group’s shipping division in Dubai. Success on the job reinforced his faith in his abilities and in 2012 he gave in to a yearning to launch his own company, Emerald Maritime. They use chartered ships to move dry commodities worldwide. He later established EMCORE Group (Emerald Commodity and Resources) which focuses on global trading of commodities such as coal and zinc, in a strategic move to leverage the strengths of Emerald Maritime and formulate a more integrated approach to shipping.
Because of the nature of business and his client base, Jaipuriyar keeps a watchful eye on the economies of the EU and China, and on their diplomatic relationship. “I personally see lots of investments from China outflowing to EU countries, more so than the other way around. There are challenges such as transparency, economic slowdown and so on, but more opportunities shall emerge as time goes by,” he says. “The shipping industry, in general, would definitely be affected if the EU and China don’t get along well and my company would not be insulated. Having said that though, I believe there are more opportunities ahead than threats as we have almost bottomed out of the rough patches.”
The rough times of summer 2015, he says, are a perfect opportunity to use the skills he learned during his MBA. “Forecasts have lost all meaning. However, times like these can help businesses inculcate a certain degree of financial discipline in their systems,” he says. “The time has come to lower and optimise cost. This is where the concept of networks becomes even more pronounced.”