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India-based globally operating ship manager and port operator strengthens international links

India-based globally operating ship manager and port operator strengthens international links Lilly Maritime prepares for India’s ambitious port and coastline modernization plan and looks to Japan for new partnerships Lilly Maritime, from its corporate office base in Mumbai’s Andheri district, has served shipowners and oil terminals for over two decades. From humble beginnings, today it has branches in the Indian ports of Jamnagar, Kolkata and Chennai, as well as overseas associate partners in Singapore and Sharjah in the UAE. Its core businesses remain the technical and crew management of ships of various types and oil terminal management services. The company’s safety and quality management system is now annually reviewed and accredited by three major classification societies on behalf of five flag administrations. These shipping services range from managing newly built ships to handling the vessels until the end of their service lives.

It has likewise positioned itself in the market to serve owners with small fleets on an exclusive basis, helping them grow as working partners to compete with bigger players in the industry. Lilly further provides a broad range of expertise and services, particularly exceling in serving owners who are both budget-sensitive and quality-conscious.

Senthil Kumar, Managing Director of Silver Star Ship Management

Rethina Kumar, Founder and Managing Director of Lilly Maritime

“With know-how we have gained from our more than two decades of experience in shipping and oil terminal services, we can proudly say we excel in partnering with shipowners who have specialized needs,”said Rethina Kumar, the company’s founder and managing director. “Furthermore, our global reach enables us to efficiently serve our clients around the world.”

Lilly celebrated its 20th anniversary just last year, and five years ago it joined hands with Silver Star Ship Management FZE, a ship management company based in the UAE, to form a consortium for resource pooling to serve shipowners more efficiently and effectively. Its development of technology in IT and cloud computing has in turn helped Lilly group to strengthen its services.

Currently, the group manages 12 tankers ranging in size from 3,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) to 106,000 DWT. Its in-house training facility for crew in India has helped improve crew confidence and coordination in the implementation of its time-tested Safety Management System onboard. In fact, one major testament to Lilly Maritime’s work is its excellent crew retention rate of over 80 percent.

The management review of the company’s Safety Management System has been audited and accepted by global leaders Shell and ExxonMobil, a crucial business requirement for the 12 oil tankers managed by Lilly Maritime.

In 2000, when India’s Reliance group started its marine terminal to cater to the world’s largest grass-roots refinery at Jamnagar, it turned to Lilly Maritime to operate its four harbor craft and provide pollution control services to the terminal.

As the terminal expanded in size, Lilly Maritime was given additional responsibilities. Today it also manages and maintains the offshore berths of the Reliance Oil Terminal, as well as the operation and maintenance of nine harbor craft.

For the past three years, Lilly Maritime has likewise been managing berth supervision and vessel traffic service for Shell’s Hazira Port Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal. Since early 2017, the company has also been entrusted with the operation and maintenance of the oil terminal owned by Bharat Petroleum at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai.

Through the years, Lilly Maritime has built and maintained strong relations in Japan. Kumar said, “Our association with Class NK over the past decade has given us an edge over our peers, not only in ship management, but also in our green ship recycling consultancy service.”

“We have been associated with Class NK and GSR Services in supporting Shree Ram Group, Priya Blue, JRD and other yards in Alang in Gujarat province to bring their operational standards up to internationally accepted levels to comply with the Hong Kong convention guidelines,”he explained.

“As a result, major shipowners such as Maersk, MSC, Mitsui OSK, CMA-CGM, K Lines and Hapag-Lloyd have entrusted the green recycling of their vessels to Indian recyclers through our services,” Kumar continued. “In fact, Class NK’s contribution to the international recognition and reputation of the Indian ship recycling industry is worth highlighting.”

In the past three years the Indian economy —as well as methods of doing business in India — have drastically changed for the better with new policies implemented by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The greater ease of doing business in India, formerly a distant dream, is now a reality.

In this framework marked by the consolidation of taxes and regulations to support budding entrepreneurs and welcome foreign direct investment into India, there are new opportunities in the Indian maritime sector involving ships and ports in the global, as well as coastal, transport of goods.

After more than five decades, the Indian government has at last revised the country’s Merchant Shipping Act of 1956 to bring it more in line with modern business practices and cater to all national and international conventions, rules and standards. The new act is likely to be passed by the Indian Parliament before the end of the current year.

In turn, Indian maritime professionals are now playing a pivotal role in the international ship management market, and this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot of untapped potential in India. In fact, the country’s prospects look promising indeed, with the World Bank projecting a growth rate of 7.2 percent for 2017 that is predicted to rise even higher in subsequent years.

“We are very keen to participate in India’s ambitious ‘Sagar Mala’ project, in which coastal and inland waterway transport will be used to optimize power consumption and reduce the cost of transportation and delivery times,”said Kumar, referring to the government’s initiative to modernize all of India’s ports and coastline.

He observed: “Over the years, Japan has taken a key interest in the Indian market, and has consistently invested in the country’s future. Considering the fact that Japan has already optimized its coastline for coastal trade, we believe it would be a great opportunity for Japanese companies — with their expertise —to support our vision of participating in this upgrading of India’s coastal and inland water maritime transportation.”

In this respect, Lilly Maritime is eager to partner with more Japanese shipowners, looking ahead to the days and decades to come as India’s world potential is realized.

Meanwhile, outside India, Lilly Maritime already has a strong presence in the UAE. Its immediate goal is to set up another hub in Singapore with its own support team. “We are now looking at partnerships to enter the Singapore market,”said Kumar. “It will improve our response time to the ships we manage. We still have the advantage of our local base in India, in which we impart the training expertise that is the key to our success in managing ships.”

Source: World Eye Report (

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