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Indian Excellence rewarded!

Indian Excellence rewarded!

Mumbai: The first ever India Shipping Awards kicked off with a bang yesterday honouring excellence in the country's maritime industry. Following a full day of conference sessions at the Indian Shipping Summit, 450 guests were treated to a lavish banquet and live entertainment as a veritable 'who's who' of Indian shipping graced the stage. The awards, sponsored by Braemar Seascope, DNV and Varun Shipping spanned six categories, recognising individuals and companies that set a benchmark for the country's maritime industry.

A wide array of nominees had been carefully evaluated by a panel of judges chaired by DT Joseph, former shipping secretary with the Government of India; Chris Horrocks, former secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Shipping Federation; PK Srivastava, former chairman and md of the Shipping Corporation of India; and Captain JC Anand, chairman of the Indian Register of Shipping.

The first winner of the evening was Rishi Agarwal of ABG Shipping, who was recognised as the Deal Maker of the Year (sponsored by Varun Shipping). Delayed from accepting the award in person due to work commitments, Agarwal was praised for his vision by Arun Mehta, vice chairman and md of Varun Shipping, who presented the award.

The second award recognising Innovator of the Year was presented to Sabyasachi Hajara, chairman and md of the Shipping Corporation of India and newly elected president of the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA), by Ms Rani Jhadhav, chairman of the Mumbai Port Trust.

Next HK Mittal, md of Mercator Lines, received his award for Entrepreneur of the Year from DT Joseph, and Dinesh Lal, executive director for Maersk, took the award for Infrastructure Developer of the Year from Eiving Grostad, svp and regional manager for maritime Middle East and India for DNV, which sponsored the category.

Yudhishthir Khatau, md of Varun Shipping, was recognised for his hard work during his presidency of INSA and received the award for Policy Maker of the Year - presented by PK Srivastava. While last but not least, KM Sheth, executive chairman of Great Eastern Shipping, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Denis Petropoulos, executive director of Braemar Shipping, the award sponsor. Accepting the engraved crystal award, Sheth quipped, "I don't know why I'm being given this award when I'm not yet done with shipping. I'll be around for a long time yet."  [31/10/07]