Capt Rajesh Tandon is an accomplished maritime professional with a rich history of senior management positions across various functions of ship management, seafarer development, statutory compliance within the maritime industry, and a strong focus on industrial relations.
Capt Tandon holds a Masters in Nautical Sciences and is passionate about improving seafarer employment options, constantly working to make it a highly regarded profession.
His career has been marked by several successful endeavours, including the establishment of V Ships' offices in India in 1997, where he served as Managing Director, overseeing crewing operations and transforming the company into a sought-after destination for seafaring professionals. His career with V Group spanning over 3 decades saw him in various leadership roles within the Maritime HR vertical.
An alumni of the 1973-75 batch of TS Rajendra, Capt. Tandon's distinguished career in the maritime industry is marked by leadership, dedication, and a commitment to enhancing the seafaring profession. His influence spans from his early days as a Ship Master with The Shipping Corporation of India in 1983, to his current role as Chief Executive Officer of FOSMA, where he continues to champion the industry's growth and development.
He started his sailing career with Shipping Corporation of India rising to the rank of Master in 1983 at the age of 27. He joined V Ships as Master in 1988 and sailed up to 1991 prior coming ashore with V. Ships.
During his sailing period he served on various vessel types including Chemical Tankers, VLCC & VLOO Carriers.
His shore career started with a short sting at V Ships Head Office in Monaco, prior being assigned to Mumbai as owners’ Resident Representative in 1992. In 1997 he was tasked to set up the V Ships Offices in India where he served as their Resident Director and later as Managing Director up to 2017.
As Managing Director of V Ships India, the seafarer numbers grew to circa 4000 Indian seafarers on board positions across a diverse fleet of vessels comprising Oil & Chemical Tankers, Dry Bulk & Container, Offshore and Passenger vessels.
During this period, he also set up and led the in-house Training delivery in India for value-add training initiatives. Capt Tandon represented V Ships at various industry bodies and forums and led the industries perspective in interactions with Maritime Administration in formulating legislations to comply with international instruments.
In September 2008 in addition to holding MD position at V Ships India, he took on the responsibility as Operations Director of V Group Manpower Services and was redesignated as Global Director - Industrial Relations and Seafarer Development in 2017. He was responsible for negotiating and management of all Collective Bargaining and other applicable Crew Agreements for the entire V Group seafaring work force, and also worked closely with the team responsible for leading Crew Welfare initiatives.
He was redesignated as President – V. Ships India in June 2021, a position he held until his superannuation in April 2022.
Concurrent with his role as V Ships Operations Director, he represented V Group at The International Maritime Employers' Council Ltd (IMEC) as an Executive Committee member up to his superannuation. He was served as Vice Chairman of IMEC from 2011 – 2014 and Chairman from 2014 – 2019.
As an industry representative he gained thorough knowledge of the functioning, and attended various international convention deliberations e.g. IMO, ILO, ITF etc. in the formulation of rules and regulations that govern the seafarer certification, welfare and other employment terms.
In his capacity as Chairman of IMEC, Capt Tandon lead the Employers Group for the IBF trade union wage negotiations with the ITF in 2014 and 2018. This helped him gain extensive knowledge & expertise in policy formulation, contracting, negotiating and change management, ability to communicate and interact with officials at all levels of Government and has worked with the Maritime Administrations representing the Employers Groups in various Committees across a wide range of constituencies globally.
Upon superannuating from V Group in April 2022 he has joined the Foreign Owners Representatives and Ship Managers Association (FOSMA) as CEO in July 2022.
Capt. Tandon has received several awards and recognitions and continues to hold several other honorary positions in the Maritime Industry in Training, Seafarer Welfare organizations, Industrial Relation matters and other professional bodies. Some of his achievements are:
He is a Fellow of The Nautical Institute and was part of the Executive Committee that set up the first Nautical Institute Branch in India at Mumbai in 1993.
He is a Fellow of the Company of Master Mariners of India.
He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Seamens Provident Fund Organisation.
Some of the other past & present key positions held are:
He has served as a Director of International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) from 2007 – 2022 and has served as its’ Chairman for 2 terms from 2014 – 2019. During his tenure as Chairman of IMEC he has participated as a member of the Shipowners’ delegation to the ILO deliberations in Geneva in respect of MLC Special Tripartite Committee, Seafarers Identity Document (SID) Convention and Seafarers’ Minimum Wages Conventions.
Former member – National Shipping Board. First appointee to NSB representing foreign employer group.
Former Member of the Board of Advisors of AMET.
Member, Board of Advisors of several other Industry Associations, seafarers’ organisations and training establishments.
On the occasion of National Maritime Day on 5 th April 2018, in appreciation of his continued outstanding contribution to the Indian and International Maritime Sector, he was conferred with the ‘VARUNA AWARD’ which is highest award for the Maritime Industry.
By reason of his eminent career in the maritime industry, dedication and commendable attainments, and for his sustained journey of excellence in the maritime world for nearly 5 decades, The Chancellor & the Executive Council of the AMET University conferred the Degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc) Honoris Causa, at their convocation ceremony held on 17 th November 2023.