Life as a Navig8 Employee

Finance

When did you decide you wanted a career in shipping?

Frankly speaking, I never thought that I will be in shipping industry in the first place. I had been working in transport and manufacturing industries for 8.5 years, before I joined my ex-boss, who was then the CFO of an established shipping company. As Senior Accountant, I was given the opportunity to take up an extensive portfolio, which included Ship Management accounts, Ship-owning accounts, Ship agency Accounts and Marine Consultancy accounts. I found my portfolio interesting and excel at my work, and consequently was headhunted by a Ship-owning company to lead and supervise the Finance Team in their newly set up ship management company in Singapore.

Why did you choose Navig8?

As I had gained fulfilling experience in the shipping industry for the past 5 years in my last 2 jobs, I had thus approached a recruitment agency, which specialized in shipping and maritime jobs, hoping to join back the shipping industry as an Accounting Professional. That was when I came across Navig8, my first interview after my long break. I read about Navig8, and was excited to learn that it was the world’s largest independent pool and commercial management company.

What has your experience been so far?

I would say that my experience in Navig8 is great so far! My work scope is by far challenging and I get to work with different nationalities. I love the fact that Navig8 takes care of the welfare and well-being of their employees, such as, comprehensive medical and dental insurance, monthly get-together breakfast at the pantry, CNY lucky draw, quarterly department’s team building etc.

What advice would you give to others considering a career in shipping?

Working in shipping industry can be a very rewarding career choice. There is a need for many types of talents in this industry and there are lots of directions that you could go by gaining experience in any area.

How do you feel you’ve developed since joining Navig8?

Since joining Navig8, I am better able to see the bigger picture and how my role relates to the overall goals of the organisation. My experience of working with others – both external and internal people of different nationalities – has contributed to my strong interpersonal skills.

How would you describe the organisational culture at Navig8?

Navig8 cares for their employees. In addition, the open office concept (i.e. having no walls, no doors) makes a team more cohesive, as people (especially the top management) become more approachable and it also improves inter-department communication.

How have you found the development opportunities at Navig8?

Navig8’s fleet and breadth of business activities are increasing steadily, and fairly quickly. This growth offers the potential for career challenge that inspire existing employees. Growing businesses in Navig8 offer change and the need to acquire new skills and knowledge, something which I think everyone (including myself) is seeking, as these experiences will increase job satisfaction and motivation.

What are your thoughts on training and development at Navig8?

In addition to the routine on-the-job training, I was given training on external software, and also attended a course, sponsored by Navig8, to keep myself abreast of the recent updates on US GAAP. Being a year with Navig8, I would say that the Company exhibit good management practices by providing me adequate training and a conducive environment for learning, which contributes to my personal and professional growth.

What advice would you give to others considering a Finance career in Shipping?

The experience gained will be very unique and rewarding, as Shipping is a very specialised industry. So, be open to explore the sea of opportunities and shore of possibilities!

Analyst

When did you decide you wanted a career in shipping?

After doing some work experience with shipowners/broking houses, I saw that shipping could be an exciting, sociable and rewarding career to embark upon.

Why did you choose Navig8?

Navig8, as one of the fastest growing and forward thinking shipowners in the industry, offers a young trainee the perfect environment to learn from experienced professionals whilst also taking on one’s own responsibilities as the company expands.

What has your experience been so far?

In such a fast-moving firm, the learning curve has been steep; however, this means the learning process is extremely rewarding. The office is an extremely social and friendly place and, whether it be an educational question or a simple chat, people always find the time to talk to you.

What advice would you give to others considering a career in shipping?

Shipping is an extremely exciting industry and is constantly adapting to keep up with global trends/demands; such a dynamic/challenging environment makes for an extremely satisfying work environment and I would recommend it to anybody.

How do you feel you’ve developed since joining Navig8?

As my first full time job, Navig8 has helped develop my analytical skills, whilst also giving me an understanding of the systems that are used across the industry. Additionally, Navig8 has instilled in me a desire to produce work of the highest quality that can be sent externally to clients.

What are your thoughts on training and development at Navig8?

Whilst working at Navig8 I have always felt fully supported by my Managers and any questions, no matter how rudimentary, are always met with the same enthusiasm and patience. Regarding development, Navig8 is a company that rewards hard work & ability and offers promising individuals many opportunities for career progression.

Chartering

Why did you choose Navig8?

Navig8 offers immense exposure in global trade for liquid and dry bulk shipping. The company’s business model has without a doubt proven its success throughout the years and moving forward we expect this strategy to lead the way by which our industry operates going forward. As we look ahead, tonnage growth will continue with strength and the majority of vessels will be allocated sparsely amongst a range of owners. Our business model has proven to help limit each Owners risk in volatile times and we expect growth to continue.

What has your experience been so far?

Every day is a new learning experience and with the size of our growing fleet each individual tends to have their hands in wide range of different situations at any given time. Being a fairly lean chartering team it is of utmost importance that we know the right contacts within each trade. As a chemical charterer we not only focus on chemicals but also cpp/dpp/veg oils/acid etc giving us invaluable knowledge across the liquid bulk sector.

What advice would you give to others considering a career in shipping?

Set long term goals but be patient, make the right contacts and build a knowable foundation in all areas of the trade including operations/demurrage/maritime law and chartering.

How do you feel you’ve developed since joining Navig8?

Navig8 has given me the opportunity to commercially advance my career in all areas of the trade. Trading on a predominately spot platform opens up relationships with most contacts in the palm/petrochemical and petroleum sectors. It’s a fast moving and exciting environment which challenges us every day, being active in all trades is advantageous commercially in order to stay top of current market conditions in order to optimize our fleet better than others.

How would you describe the organisational culture at Navig8?

The organizational culture at Navig8 is fairly flat allowing each individual the opportunity to calculate risk and make their own decisions. There’s an abundance of specialised knowledge and experience from each team member on the trading floor which we all take advantage of on a daily basis. It’s a team environment and the sharing of knowledge with one another throughout the day helps everyone stay focused on Navig8‘s target goals.

How have you found the development opportunities at Navig8?

Personnel experience throughout our global offices both operationally and commercially are without a doubt our biggest asset. We are fortunate enough to have quite a few ex Captains on our team which help to train others with less sea experience. Development in chartering as mentioned always expands on a daily basis as communication flows from office to office. Negotiating contracts of affreightments/time chartering tonnage in and out and fixing spot vsls routinely keeps us busy maintaining relationships with our customers and brokers.

What are your thoughts on training and development at Navig8?

Training takes place on the job and we feel the best way to gain experience is to jump in head first. This being said we will all take turns explaining and educating and watching over new colleagues until they are fully comfortable with working on their own.

What advice would you give to others considering a career in Chartering?

Walk before you run and learn the basics. Chartering can be a high energy/high pace exciting career choice with a lot of moving parts. It will of course challenge each individual to think outside of the box and make decisions which not only affect the short term but also the long term.

Operations

Why did you choose a career at Navig8?

Towards the end of year 2010, I had completed three semesters of my MBA program in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to take a break before the fourth (and final) semester. And what could be a better break than going back to my old job of a Ship Captain for a few months! This break landed me on a Frontline owned Aframax tanker, which was commercially managed by Navig8 and that is when I started to learn about Navig8’s unique business model. Since I was to graduate in Aug 2011 and was already pursuing opportunities in commercial shipping, Navig8 was the number one name on my list of potential employers. This was especially valid due to Navig8’s global presence and their ability as an employer to place me in any of the geographic locations. During my short tenure on the Navig8 managed vessel, I noticed that the company clearly stood out from its competition by going away from the traditional shipping business model. I was able to recognise this organisational behaviour as the Blue Ocean Strategy: That is to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant. Looking at a company actually implement what we had recently learnt in business school made me believe that Navig8 would be the place to be.

What has your experience been so far?

Having worked only in Hierarchical organizations before Navig8, I did not have experience of working for a Flat organisation like Navig8 and must admit that it has been both challenging and rewarding. Challenging because I have had to quickly get used to reporting and being accountable to several intra and inter departmental (internal) customers instead of one or two superior managers. Rewarding because of the vast exposure and learning that comes from working across the multi-functional, multi-cultural and geographical lines, especially in a flat structure. Another learning benefit at Navig8 has been the quick adaptation to change, as Navig8 is an exceptionally dynamic organisation where ‘change’ is the only constant.

What advice would you give to others considering a career in tanker operations at Navig8?

Speak with as many people in the company as you can, in order to assess if you are the right fit for the organisation. The people powering Navig8 are as dynamic, adaptive and swift as Navig8 itself as an organisation and for that reason it is important to ‘fit-in’ and feel at home rather than be overwhelmed by the organisational energy. If someone believes that they have what it takes to succeed in a growing, rapidly changing and fast paced team like Navig8, and they are offered a career opportunity in tanker operations at Navig8, my advice would be to go for it!

How do you feel you’ve developed since joining Navig8?

In the three and a half years that I have been at Navig8, I can definitely say that no one day has been like another. The journey thus far has been full of learning and growing. While there has been heaps of new commercial shipping knowledge to grasp, at the same time since most of my prior work experience before Navig8 was in the oil tanker industry, I’d say that my learning curve has been smooth and infinite, especially as the learning never stops here at Navig8. Through my interaction with our external and internal customers, I have been able to gain a new insight on how commercial shipping functions not only as a business, but also as a fraternity. My role at Navig8 has also given me the opportunity to get to know different people working at organisations such as Oil Majors, Oil Traders, Ship Owners, Charterers, Technical Operators, Ship Brokers, Terminals and Agencies which is a priceless perquisite in terms of network and relationship building. Having been involved in managing differing types of tank vessels trading globally in multiple routes with multiple chartering entities has been key in painting the Big Picture or a Bird’s Eye View of shipping for me.

How would you describe the organisational culture at Navig8?

Being in the business of service delivery, Navig8’s greatest assets are the people who work here. And due to being a flat structure, all the people at Navig8 have the open door policy when you need to seek advice or opinion, or give a suggestion. The word ‘door’ in this case is purely a metaphor as in fact there are no doors to speak of, since all the offices are designed as open floor plans! The ease of access to lots of vibrant, knowledgeable, and yet friendly people is a great advantage and is the backbone of the organisational culture at Navig8.

How have you found the development opportunities at Navig8?

As the company is rapidly expanding, there are loads of development opportunities at Navig8 for new roles and responsibilities within the organisation. The key is in self-assessing my own existing capabilities and realising the potential to develop new skills to see how I can add value to the company’s endeavours. In order to be sustainable, any personal development must be mutually beneficial to both – the employer and the employee. To summarise, development opportunities certainly exist at Navig8 and it is up to the individual to step forward and present themselves as a candidate.

What are your thoughts on training and development at Navig8?

Barring a few exceptions, most people that join Navig8 are able to hit the ground running as they are adequately experienced for the role that they are hired for. This does mean that if a person is going to start afresh or with relatively less experience, they would need to rely on unconventional ways for training themselves as most of the learning would be accomplished through interacting with colleagues, clients, service providers and on-the-job training. This is a good way to learn as the education achieved would thus be more practical and less academic, focusing on the day-to-day tasks that need to be completed. We could also introduce some classroom type learning, however in a fast paced work environment such as Navig8 there is more to be achieved from learning through working.