Sabyasachi Hajara, is one of the best known names in the shipping industry. A recipient of Varuna Award (highest award in the Indian Maritime Sector).
He was the Chairman and Managing Director of Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), the largest Indian shipping company , from 2005 to 2012. He was ranked among the top 100 influential personalities in the global shipping industry in 2010, 2011 & 2012 by TradeWinds and Lloyd's List, two reputed industry journals. He was the only Indian to figure in both these journals and he was first ranked amongst the Indians.
Hajara, born on December 3, 1952, hails from Kolkata. He graduated from the University of Calcutta with a Silver Medal in B.Sc (Chemistry) degree in 1970. He completed his MBA from prestigious Indian Institute of Management Calcutta in 1973. He stood second in the order of merit and was placed in the institute’s Roll of Honors. As a child, it was his dream to become a Doctor because he always believed that it is the most Nobel profession on earth. A super achiever, right from his school days, he passed higher secondary at the age of 14 and was barred from joining medical college (as he was underage as per admission criteria). He completed a degree in Law from University of Calcutta in 1977. His quest for knowledge has been insatiable. He completed Post Graduate Diploma in Shipping and International Maritime Law & Marine Insurance from Norwegian Shipping Academy in 1988 and was ranked first.
Hajara joined the Shipping Corporation of India on May 2, 1973. While in Kolkata, he headed the European Desk and with the efforts of himself and his team, he could take SCI to No.1 position in European market by substantially increasing SCI’s market share. He was elevated as General Manager (Bulk Carriers & Tankers Division) in 1997 and was In-charge of entire commercial and technical operations of all Bulk Carriers, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Tankers, Phosphoric Acid Tankers as well as Corporate Chartering Wing. He is also credited with SCI’s foray as the first Indian Shipping Line in the niche area of Liquefied Natural Gas transportation.
On September 1, 2005, he assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director of The Shipping Corporation of India Limited and after holding the charge for more than 7 years, he superannuated on December 31, 2012. During his tenure of more than 7 years, the turnover of the company increased substantially and the increase in the Gross asset value was twofold. The average profit achieved during his tenure was more than Rs.600 crore per year which is almost double as compared to the profit during the tenure of his immediate predecessor and manifolds of all other predecessors. Recognizing the performance of the Company, the Government of India conferred the most coveted “Navratna” status on SCI in August, 2008. He is the only person in independent India in the Indian shipping industry to have held the most important post of the President of Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA) for 5 years in a row. As the President of INSA, he pursued many critical issues of Indian ship-owners with the Government of India and other organizations for their amicable settlement from time to time. The ‘Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers’, UK has elected him as an Emeritus member - the only person from India to have been thus elected. He was also a Director and Vice President of the International Shipping Federation – the most important ship owners’ forum in the world, which represents the ship owning fraternity in ILO, IMO and other UN bodies.
Hajara firmly believes that one should never compromise with his principles for any considerations whether professional or material. Sabyasachi Hajara is best described by “Passion” and “Pride for Service”. His maternal grandfather and also one of his idols, Major Hem Chandra Mitra, a doctor by profession, received a citation from Mr. Winston Churchil for his outstanding contribution and service during the first world war. His passion for singing and acting is well known among art lovers. A great admirer of Rabindra Sangeet, he has not only sung on numerous occasions at various public platforms but also acted in several plays. He is very active in sports, namely Cricket, Football, Golf and Tennis. In Kolkata, he represented, Saturday Club. He is a very active golfer, fastest golfer in Mumbai. His friends call him “Hajara Express”.