SHIPS 2011: “Build Ships – Build India” Seminar by CII and NMF at Kochi (Part 2 of 3)

by OldSailor on October 2, 2011


SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_6This is part 2 of 3 of the SHIPS 2011 (Strategies, Human Resources, Infrastructure, Processes and Security) Conference with the theme ‘Build Ships – Build India’ hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and National Maritime Foundation (NMF) at The Gateway Hotel, Kochi, Kerala on 27 and 28 September 2011.

The SHIPS 2011: “Build Ships – Build India” Seminar went on with the following plenary sessions on 27 September 2011, after the inaugural session:

  • Plenary Session I – Strategies: Intended to bring out the options available in India and to list the factors to emerge as a major world shipbuilding power; how to benchmark the shipbuilding industry in India; resources needed to achieve the national maritime objectives and the areas that need attention.
  • Plenary Session II – Processes: Intended to assess the shipbuilding processes in public and private sector shipyards in areas such as ship design, shipbuilding, inspection, classification and certification; role of Information Technology (IT) in these processes and scope of up-gradation of these processes.
  • Plenary Session III – Infrastructure: Intended to assess the present shipbuilding infrastructure in areas like physical infrastructure, connectivity, funding, financing, statutory and regulatory aspects.
  • Plenary Session IV – Human Resources: Intended to develop a dedicated shipbuilding cadre to meet the technological advancements taking place in ship design, shipbuilding, manning ships including R&D for both warships and merchant ships.

Day 1 Proceedings (continued): 27 September 2011

Plenary Session I: Strategies


  • Opening Remarks & Chair: Rear Admiral S Madhusudhanan, Flag Officer (SPV and AOB), Naval Head Quarters, New Delhi.
  • “Ship Building – Why we are behind ? Strategies for growth”: by Mr Antony Prince, President, GTR Campbell Marine Consultants Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas.
  • “Challenges of Building and Operating Marine (Assets/Crafts) in India”: by Mr Johnson Mathew, Chairman & Managing Director, Trans Asian Shipping Services Pvt Ltd.


  • Indian Shipbuilding comprises of Warship Building and Commercial Shipbuilding; it is unique as the shipyard has to sell first and then build the ship for the buyer.
  • Shipbuilding has long gestation period, needs lot of funding, installs costly equipment and is labour intensive; this combination can become a disaster if not handled well; it is highly rewarding if handled properly; strategies are needed to make it profitable.
  • National Shipbuilding Capability Index for the shipyards has to be brought out.
  • Shipbreaking/recycling industry must not be neglected and the norms have to be set for this industry.
  • India lags behind China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines in shipbuilding and ship repair.
  • What prevents India to become a world leader (like in IT) in Shipbuilding ?
    • Lack of Vision, Resolve and Management.
    • Lack of a ‘Sam Pitroda’ in Indian Shipbuilding.
  • Shipyard’s Low Productivity and Delayed Delivery Schedules are preventing India to compete in the world shipbuilding market. The reasons are:
    • Lack of Management and Commitment.SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_8
    • Short term policies and Short term appointment of CMDs in Shipyards.
    • Lack of experienced design engineers, production engineers.
    • Lack of development in ship design technology and production technology.
    • Poor labour relations.
    • Outdated government policies.
    • Lack of support from Ship Owners (buyers), Classification Societies.
    • Buyers’ inexperienced supervisory staff.
  • India’s ship design capabilities may be fairly good for warships but remains very poor for designs relating to merchant ships including Coast Guard ships.
  • India is unable to use the latest IT tools in shipbuilding as India still lacks in basic ship design and production technology.
  • Indigenous content in shipbuilding needs enhancement; this can be achieved by formulating vision and goal oriented government policies to attract OEMs to tie up with Indian manufacturers.
  • Government support is needed to develop infrastructure, to improve ship design and production technology, to implement ERP systems in shipbuilding.
  • Development of a Shipbuilding Cadre in Managerial, Supervisory and Technician levels can be achieved by providing necessary training; cost of training has to be considered as an investment instead of looking at it as an avoidable expenditure; for the last eight years due to non availability of expertise in ship design and production, most of the orders to build ships were either cancelled or postponed; we have to be ‘proactive’ in this area instead of remaining ‘reactive’.
  • Multiple professional associations/bodies in maritime domain must understand that shipping industry and the nation’s interest is foremost; they must unify and work together to bring up the shipping industry by interacting with the government.
  • An independent, powerful National Ocean Commission headed by a ‘Sam Pitroda’ of the shipping industry has to be set up; all departments of the central government and state governments dealing in  maritime domain must be brought under this commission; representatives from Finance, Home, Defence & Merchant shipping, Commerce, Revenue, Customs, Environment, Education, Labour ministries, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Ship Designers, Shipbuilding industry, Ship owners, Ship managers, Educational institutions, Banks, Insurance, Labour unions etc., must be in the National Shipbuilding Panel to support this National Ocean Commission.
  • Experience of Mr Antony Prince, President, GTR Campbell Marine Consultants Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas with Indian shipbuildersSHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_9
    • Extreme success: In end 2003 placed order for six bulk carriers with CSL, four bulk carriers with HSL; both shipyards delivered ships without any problem.
    • Extreme failure: In 2007, placed order for six vessels with a private shipyard and not even a single vessel is delivered till now.
  • There was unanimous support from the audience to nominate Mr Antony Prince as ‘Sam Pitroda’ of Indian shipping industry.
  • Though there is a need to build adequate port infrastructure, the existing under utilised non major ports must be fully exploited.
  • Experience of Mr Johnson Mathew, Chairman & Managing Director, Trans Asian Shipping Services Pvt Ltd as a Ship Owner in India
    • Trans Asian Shipping Services took a bold decision in the year 2005 to build a multipurpose vessel in India to operate in minor ports world wide.
    • Design was ready in 2006; due to prolonged delay in getting approval for the design from Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), design approval was taken from  International Register for Shipping.
    • Keel was laid in 2009 at Century Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala.
    • The vessel ‘Karuthal’ (1600 DWT, 94 TEU capacity) with 95% indigenous material, machinery, expertise and technology was launched in mid 2009; again lot of problems were experienced from Indian authorities to launch the vessel.SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_10
    • The vessel was put in service in end 2009; though the vessel successfully operates in Middle East Gulf, the vessel is unable to transport domestic cargo between non major ports in India as the vessel is not Indian flagged and to get a Indian flag, the vessel has to be IRS classed; IRS is delaying certification without giving any valid reasons; As a solution, Mr Antony Prince opined that DG Shipping may have to certify vessels to operate within Indian Coast as followed in Japan and China.
    • This ship owner is also planning to operate combi river-sea vessels in the north – south corridor in the east and west coast of India.
  • Views of Mr Johnson Mathew, Chairman & Managing Director, Trans Asian Shipping Services Pvt Ltd as a Ship Owner

Plenary Session II: Processes


  • Opening Remarks & Chair: Cmde (Retd) Kartik Subramaniam, Chairman & Managing Director and Officiating Director (Operations), Cochin Shipyard Limited.
  • “Information Technology: The New Glue for Shipbuilding”: by Mr R Shankar, Executive Vice President – India, Middle East, & Africa, Ramco Systems.
  • “Importance of Life Saving Appliances on Ships”: by Mr K Balasubramaniam, Managing Partner, Marine Equipment & Technical Manager, Vadyar Boats Pvt Ltd.


  • Shipbuilding has now become a science from the traditional version of being an art.
  • Cochin Shipyard, Hindustan Shipyard, Mundra Port (Gujarat Adani Port Ltd) use Ramco Systems’ IT Solutions.
  • Factors affecting Indian Shipbuilding IndustrySHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_12
    • Government Policy
    • Capacity
    • Marine Supply Industry
    • Forex
    • Labour cost
  • IT tools like ERP, CAD/CAM, CAE, PLM, BPM, BI/DM can be easily used to improve productivity in shipbuilding in the following processes:
    • Ship Design
    • Contract
    • Steel Storage Pretreatment
    • Steel Cutting
    • Erection and Launching
    • Assembly and PaintingSHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_13
    • Final outfitting
    • Sea Trial and Delivery
  • Life Saving Appliances:
    • Ships are provided with life saving appliances like Life Boats, Rescue Boats, Life Rafts, Life Jackets, Life Buoys for 100% of crew capacity.
    • Material used for life saving appliances are: Wood, Steel, Aluminum, GRP.
    • In addition to manual launching of life boats, now there are Free Fall Life Boats and Vertical Fall Life Boats.
    • Though tremendous progress has taken place in design, building of davits and life boats, the maintenance of these equipment still lag behind.
    • Efforts are being made to minimise accidents in using life saving appliances by improving design, by implementing stringent inspection/certification, by training the ships crew to maintain and use life saving appliances safely.
  • Possibilities of using the expertise available with life boat manufacturers, must be examined to manufacture small crafts for use in inland waterways to ferry cargo and passengers.
  • Demand to procure life boats from India has reduced as new ships are being ordered/built in foreign shipyards; however there is demand for rescue boats, work boats.
  • Inspection/certification/approval of one state maritime board is not recognised by other state maritime boards; this is a road block to marine industry’s growth.

Plenary Session III: Infrastructure


  • Opening Remarks & Chair: Rear Admiral (Retd) BR Menon, Ex Chairman, Kerala Shipping & Inland Navigation Corporation Ltd and Adviser to the Government of Kerala for development of Inland waterways.
  • “Shipbuilding Infrastructure – L & T’s Perspective”: by Capt (Retd) SK Patnaik, Head – Marine Marketing Business, Larson & Toubro Ltd.
  • “Integrated Shipbuilding Strategy with Product Lifecycle Management”: by Rear Admiral (Retd) Rajeev Paralikar, Domain Consultant, ITC Infotech Ltd.


  • Infrastructure
    • Ports and Shipyards
      • Development of ports and development of shipbuilding are the two sides of the same coin.
      • 68% of people from BPL (Below Poverty Line), live in the coasts of India; employability of people living in the coast can be achieved only by developing non major ports.
      • The future of Indian Shipbuilding depends on the development of non major ports.
      • Port Control Authority should do least controlling and should not become a road block in the development of ports and shipyards.
    • Location: the practice of constructing berths/jetties for ships at convenient locations without considering the navigational aspects/sea currents has to be avoided; in six of the recently constructed berths by spending crores of rupees at Lakshadweep islands, not even a single ship can be berthed; developing ports, shipyards in the right location is equally important.
    • Dredging: It is the most neglected activity in India; science of dredging needs to be understood; if dredging is not given importance, ports will be unsafe for navigation.
    • Connectivity: Connectivity of ports/shipyards through roadways,railways and waterways must be considered in addition to connectivity through sea.
    • Funding: The subsidies given to shipping industry was withdrawn by the government, as it was not fully utilised by the industry; but as the shipbuilding is capital intensive, subsidy has to be continued; shipbuilding has developed/being developed in China, Korea, Brazil, New Zealand only by government support.
  • Digital Shipbuilding
    • Helps to design the way it is built: Outputs are Complex Jigs & Fixture details, Production drawings, Engineering bill of material, Isometric generation, Shipping in/out routs.
    • Uses Product Lifecycle Management (PLM): for all areas of project execution like Design, Planning, Manufacture, Support.
    • Ensures to build the right product and to build the product right: by using right bill of materials, the right quality standards, the right system level performance requirements.
    • Error-free seamless integration of Design & Engineering Hub with Manufacturing Hub.
  • Benefits of PLM based Digital ManufacturingSHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_15
    • Improves planning & scheduling.
    • Eliminates rework.
    • Shortens time-to-production.
    • System centric project execution.
    • Gives “Build Anywhere & Assemble Anywhere” option.
    • Competitive advantage through adaptable and lean manufacturing practices.
  • L & T has the following Design & Technology Centers
    • Warship Design Center.
    • Submarine Design Center.
    • Commercial Ship Design Center.
    • Product & Technology Development Center.
    • Technology Development Center – Electronics.
  • IT applications are now available from ITC Infotech & PTC for the following complex shipbuilding activities
    • Ship Design.
    • Materials Procurement.
    • Fabrication of Hull Blocks.
    • Assembly of Hull Blocks in a Dry Dock or at a Berth.SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_16
    • Fitting Out at an alongside berth.
    • Trials and Delivery.
  • Infrastructure required for modern shipyards
    • Optimally designed work areas, docks and wharfs.
    • Multi disciplinary modular workshops.
    • Extensive use of CAM and High productivity machine tools.
    • Heavy lift cranes and Haulage equipment.
  • Key result areas for a Shipyard
    • Infrastructure.
    • Effective control systems.
    • Skills and Training of Human Resources.

Plenary Session IV: Human Resources


  • Opening Remarks, presentation on “Need of the Hour – Trained Skills in Maritime Sector” & Chair: by Capt Suresh Bhardwaj, Vice Chancellor, AMET University.
  • “Human Resources”: by Ms Urmila Shetty, Chief Manager HR – Officers Section, Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL). SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_18
  • “Research Challenges for Shipping Industry – HR Perspectives”: by Dr Srinivasan Sundarrajan, Director, National Institute of Technology, Trichy.


  • Economic growth cannot be achieved without a strong human capital.
  • We have to invest, nurture and support an environment to enhance the skills, productivity, employability of the human capital.
  • Trained skills needed for the maritime sector has to be jointly addressed by the three stakeholders namely the Government, Shipping Industry and Marine Training Institutions.
  • Human Resource Strategies of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
    • Organisation Structure.
    • Right-sized Workforce.
    • Building Quality Workforce.
    • Training Activities.
    • Multi-Skilling.
    • Production Norms.SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_19
  • MDL successfully performs by maintaining 75% workforce in permanent roll and 25% of workforce on contract employment (not sub-contract, keeping in roll for two year period).
  • MDL has rationalised 134 trades into 34 trades by multi-skilling; these 34 trades are further brought into 4 groups based on the skill level.
  • MDL has brought down Man-Days/Tonne of fabrication from 65 in 2004-2005 to 42 in 2010-2011.
  • Number of female engineers employed in MDL are increasing and they perform well like their male counterparts (earlier female engineers were not there in shipyards).
  • NIT – Trichy proposes to set up a Center of Excellence for Shipping R & D by involving Shipyards/Indian Navy/Merchant Navy, Marine Supply Industries, Classification Societies, Marine University/Academy.
  • NIT – Trichy’s Shipping R & D will focus on high performance, less maintenance, energy efficiency, environment friendliness, sustainability.

More photographs are available in Flickr.

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