The “9th Annual Operational Excellence in Shipping Forum”, Best Industry Practices – A Competitive Advantage took place on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at the Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens, with huge success attracting 550+ participants. The Forum concluded with the presentation of the “Capital Link Maritime CSR Leadership Award”.
The “Capital Link Maritime CSR Leadership Award” was initiated 7 years ago aiming to recognize a person or an organization for demonstrating the highest level of commitment to Business Ethics and Best Industry Practices. Previous Honorees were Mr. Jeremy Penn, Mr. Nikos Tsakos, Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos, Mr. Clay Maitland, Mr. John Platsidakis, and Mr. Philippe Louis-Dreyfus.
OFFICAL AWARD CEREMONY
The 2019 “Capital Link Maritime CSR Leadership Award” was presented to Mr. Anastasios V. Papagiannopoulos, Former President – BIMCO; CEO – Common Progress Co SA, in recognition of his commitment in applying and promoting Best Industry Practices. The Award recognizes a person or organization for demonstrating the highest level of commitment to Best Industry Practices.
Mr. Nikos P. Tsakos, President & CEO - Tsakos Energy Navigation, Chairman - INTERTANKO 2014-2018, delivered the Introductory remarks.
Mr. Nikos P. Tsakos said that it is with great pleasure that he introduces Mr. Tasos Papagiannopoulos, as they have shared common efforts in various organizations through the years, always bearing in mind what is best for the public benefit. Mr. Nikos P. Tsakos also said that Mr. Papagiannopoulos is a very knowledgeable man, who combines his passion with a deep knowledge on shipping as well as on many other sectors.
Mr. Anastasios V. Papagiannopoulos, Former President – BIMCO; CEO – Common Progress Co SA, thanked the organizers, Mr. Nicolas Bornozis and Mrs. Olga Bornozi, “for this wonderful award”, as he said, and also stated that it is a pleasure to be introduced by his friend, Nikos Tsakos.
Mr. Papagiannopoulos also said that, family companies have been the cornerstone of Greek shipping and that he has followed, along with his brothers, some of their founding principles: To mean what you say, to take good care of your employees, to not lose your heart when things go badly, and to not lose your mind when things go well. Mr. Papagiannopoulos further said that he was blessed to learn these things from the people who came before him, and that he is grateful for the opportunities he had in his career. During his tenure as President at BIMCO, he tried to fight for many things, such as environmental awareness and gender equality.
Mr. Papagiannopoulos concluded by saying that we must face the future with confidence, as the younger generation is highly educated and has a global vision, which is of paramount importance.
Mr. Anastasios V. Papagiannopoulos, Former President – BIMCO; CEO – Common Progress Co SA, full speech:
“Ladies and Gentlemen dear Friends,
Please allow me to express my sincere gratitude to the organizers of Capital Link for the award I just received. For many consecutive years Olga and Nikolas Bornozis succeeded through the Capital Link conferences to put emphasis on the major problems of International Shipping. Besides receiving the award from
NT has a special dimension for me. He is a guy that I never quite managed to bid in tennis, when we used to play during our Christmas holidays some 35 years ago. A very tough and competitive young man determined not to lose. A real son of Kardamyla.
The present award comes near the end of a trajectory proceeding through three homocentric circles. A family company, the UGS and BIMCO. A process starting from the elementary unit to the global arena. This is a characteristic feature of the average Greek ship owner. To participate with ones’ full power in all three processes.
The Greek family company is the elementary unit structured on the basis of a few fundamental principles:
• My word is my bond
• Take good care of your employees on shore and ashore
• When things are bad do not lose your heart when things are good do not lose your mind
• The sea becomes ill but never dies
I was blessed to learn these principles from people like my late father inlaw G.M. Pateras and Mr. Antony Angelicoussis. Along with my brothers inlaw we followed these principles and we managed to weather the storm of major shipping crises and to renew our fleet.
In our efforts we could rely on the invaluable support of our employees in the office and on the ships. They proved that the professionals in our sector constitute one fundamental factor in the flourishing of GS. To put it in a nutshell the individual Greek company always strives to be competitive and have a reasonable return on the capital invested. This may be achieved only if we can earn the trust of the other participants in our sector, banks, charterers insurers and the P&I clubs.
The UGS is a historical institution representing the interests of the Greek shipping in general and of its individual members in particular. The last two decades under the leadership of capable and hardworking presidents the UGS had some very substantial successes.
As a very brief summary of these successes I can mention:
1. The familiarization of the Greek public with the advantages accruing from the shipping sector
2. The building of relations of trust with the Greek governments
3. The protection and development of the international interests of the Greek owners
4. The consolidation of the traditionally strong links between the ship owners and their employees
As a member of the BOD and the Executive of the UGS for a long period of more than two decades, I tried along with my colleagues to be useful and productive serving the organization.
After all as a member of the UGS I was elected president of BIMCO in the end of a long tenure in the BOD and the Executive. BIMCO as you know is a global and powerful institution serving International Shipping in many interlinked ways.
1. It elaborates and publishes charter party clauses
2. It has a number of teaching courses for young shipping professionals
3. It helps to the resolutions of shipping disputes
4. It caters for the big issues of the IS in cooperation with the other organisations of the R/T
During my tenure as President of BIMCO I tried to put emphasis on its substantial activities, as a bridge between cultures, genders, sectors and national interests. With the indispensable support of the secretariat the BOD and the Executive of BIMCO we managed:
1. To strengthen our relations with the other organisations of the R/T (ICS, INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO)
2. To elaborate realistic policies as a reply to the environmental challenges of our times
3. To promote in the presidency two ladies Mrs. S. Kaptanoglu and Mrs. Sabrina Chao breaking the long sequence of male presidents.
4. To develop a better understanding between UGS and BIMCO given that the Greek ship owners constitute approximately 1/3 of the BIMCO members
5. To produce a number of important, practical and balanced clauses addressing key issues of the relations between charterers owners
In the end of this concise summary of my trajectory in shipping I would like to share with you a few concluding thoughts:
1. We managed to survive and thrive in shipping because we are hard working eternal optimists
2. We can face the future with confidence because the next generation of shipping entrepreneurs and professionals who will succeed us are better educated and have a broader / global vision
3. The new technologies available, properly utilized, will improve the operations and optimize the results of the sector
Ladies and Gentlemen
I tried to narrate my travel in the magic world of shipping. However I intentionally avoided to mention anything about my misconceptions and wrong decisions. This could be a much more entertaining, long and exciting story. I decided to spare you of that experience for two main reasons:
1. You would have a much shorter time for drinks and networking
2. The organizers of the conference might change their minds about the winner of the Capital Link award 2019”
Please note that all conference materials (audio and video archives, interviews, pictures etc.) are available online at: http://forums.capitallink.com/csr/2019athens/