Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) executive chairman Arun Sharma has received India’s most prestigious maritime award, the Varuna award, at the 58th National Maritime Day
The nomination for the award was submitted unanimously by various maritime industry bodies.
This highest maritime honour, instituted by the National Maritime Day celebrations central committee, recognises and honours individuals for their sustained and outstanding contribution to the Indian maritime sector, as well as exhibiting strong leadership skills and decision-making that has inspired positive changes to the industry.
A marine engineer with a strong technical and commercial background, Mr Sharma currently leads IRClass. He has held several top management positions with key shipping companies in his career spanning several decades. He was also chairman of the strategy committee of International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and head of Small Group on Quality Policy (SGQP).
Starting his career with The Shipping Corporation of India, he held senior management roles with Varun Shipping Company, Great Eastern Shipping and India Steamships. He has served on the board of Indian National Shipowners’ Association and on the Asia committees of leading classification societies.
During his tenure as IACS chairman, Mr Sharma led the organisation’s rapid response to assist the industry during the pandemic. The first wave of mitigative measures, which included maintaining the validity of certificates and allowing the sharing of IACS members’ exclusive surveyors, were quickly implemented to allow ships to continue operations and hence, facilitating trade.
Mr Sharma said “I am deeply honoured to be recognised by the Committee. This success can only be achieved with the unwavering commitment and dedication of our team as well as supportive industry organisations. I am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute in the international maritime arena as chairman of IACS from July 2019 to June 2020 and as the present vice chairman.”
“Going forward, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to maritime safety and quality in India and globally. IRClass will continue to grow its footprints across the world with plans to open more offices in the Middle East and Africa. It sees significant growth opportunities there and IRClass sets its sights on building a long-term commitment in the region” Mr Sharma concluded.
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