Operations Manager: "Safety is an obsession"
After ten years working on containerships and then offshore, Ramnagendran Ramiah decided to pursue his career on land, first as Logistics Manager and then as Operations Manager, the position he holds today. His objective: safe and efficient operations on board all vessels. Interview.
OFFshore: Why did you become a seafarer?
Ramnagendran Ramiah: Upon finishing my high school in Malaysia, I was truly lucky to get a fully paid scholarship from Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) to pursue a career as a seafarer. NOL was Singapore's national shipping line, but was later sold to CMA CGM in 2016. At the time of joining NOL, I was given the choice to be a deck officer or a marine engineer. As I was always interested at fixing broken things, I chose the engineering path. This led me to complete my studies at Singapore Maritime Academy and join MV Neptune Diamond as an engine cadet in the year 2000. I did my last box ship as a chief engineer in December 2009. After that, I decided to try my luck in the booming offshore industry at that time.
OFFshore: What led you to join BOURBON?
R.A.: My CV dropped in the hands of a former NOL Captain who invited me to join Bourbon Offshore Asia. I agreed without any hesitance due to the shorter contract duration and attractive salary package. My first AHTS was the Bourbon Liberty 214 just delivered from the yard in China and working for a contract with Petronas Malaysia. After a couple of stints, I applied for a shore based position. At that time, BOURBON introduced the revolutionary client satisfaction chain and I landed my first shore based position as a Logistics Manager in Songkhla, Thailand. I was managing local support and crew change formalities to the dispatch of spare parts and technicians when vessels call port.
OFFshore: You are now Operations Manager at Bourbon Offshore Greenmar. What are your daily missions?
R.A.: My job is to ensure safe operations at all times. As part of the client satisfaction chain, I am constantly available to my vessels, Contracts and Logistics Managers to ensure we provide services to the satisfaction of our clients. All this needs to be done within the allocated budget for each vessel. This is especially difficult to balance during the pandemic period due to the lower charter rates, increased costs of all logistics and prolonged hotel stays for our crew.
OFFshore: What do you prefer in your daily work?
R.A.: On a daily basis, I enjoy being the interface between the various support teams - crewing, QHSE, purchasing, finance, IT and our top management. I enjoy aligning our teams to strive for the same end results - Safe and efficient operations on board all our vessels.
OFFshore: What is your best memory since you worked at BOURBON?
R.A.: There are many wonderful memories in BOURBON since I joined in 2010. I think the best would be when I was offered the position of Operations Manager at Bahtera Sri Kandi Marine (Bourbon affiliate in Malaysia). I was surprised as well as excited to take up the new challenge. It is a moment I will always remember because the management team at that time had given me the opportunity and trust to manage the Malaysian fleet of vessels. That led me to where I am today combining my technical knowledge and operational experience to manage a diverse team of people ensuring safety and operational excellence.
OFFshore: What advice would you give to someone who would like to do the same job as you?
R.A.: My advice for someone wanting to be an operations/technical mgr, is to always put the safety of your people as the top priority. The 2 quotes below have always helped me to take the correct decisions. First: There is always time to do it right. And secondly: If it is not safe, stop the work.