"I can't really think of any other job"

When he was a boy, the sea was already calling out to Shravan Kumar Sripathi, back in his home of Visakhapatnam, a beautiful coastal city on the eastern shores of India. Today he works on a Maersk Line Triple-E vessel.

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Already the Chief Officer of a Triple E vessel at 29, Shravan Kumar Sripathi relishes his job at sea, and the challenges of managing people and leading by example.

“I grew up with picturesque sights of the sea, the beach, distant ships at anchor, the lighthouse and illuminated coastline – all visuals well versed with the seafaring  community,” says Sripathi.

Today, some twenty years later, Sripathi works on a Triple E vessel. As a Chief Officer at 29, Sripathi says he is satisfied with his career path, which started as a Dual Cadet in Maersk Line back in 2004.

“It gives me a sense of achievement to be on this prestigious fleet of vessels – the Triple E. Five years down the line, I would very much like to see myself as a successful Captain in Maersk Line,” he says.

Leadership by example

As a leader and aspiring future captain, Sripathi stands by his principles:

“Leadership is all about motivation through example and not by authority. In my opinion, if you want to be accepted and followed unquestioningly, there is no room for double standards in anything you, as a leader, do. It’s all about earning respect, not demanding it.”

To Sripathi, visiting new places and working together with a multi-national crew is an enriching experience.

“It has taught me a lot and shaped my personality in being more tolerant and sensitive when dealing with colleagues from very different backgrounds,” he adds.

“The exposure at sea helped me grow as a person. And I can’t really think of any other job which would allow me to work for 6 months of the year and enjoy a break for the remaining 6 months, thus allowing me to nurture my other interests.”

Shravan Kumar Sripathi

  • Age: 29 years
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Education: D.M.S. (Dual Officer, Singapore), B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)
  • First Job: Maersk Line as a Dual Cadet
  • Current job: Chief Officer
  • Interests: Licensed Zumba Fitness Instructor, Dancing, Fitness, Movies, Writing, Travelling, Sports

On land, Sripathi is a licenced Zumba fitness instructor. He also teaches hip hop and contemporary dance classes.

“Dance and fitness are two things very dear to me, and I spend most of my time back home teaching and improving myself,“ he says, adding that besides his diverse dance interests, he is also skilled in martial arts and archery.

A happy ship is a safe ship

According to Sripathi, at sea, teamwork between different departments is of prime importance to ensure the smooth operation of a ship. Daily discussion with the relevant department heads, prioritising jobs and reaching an understanding makes allocation of resources smooth and are just another day at the office. Says Sripathi: 

“We try and work towards maintaining the ship as a team which is facilitated by open dialogue and mutual respect,” says Sripathi.

To foster camaraderie and teamwork, Sripathi helms on board events like Matz Mania, a fun and games challenge. 

“This event brings out a lot of hidden talent that our crews possess and provides a platform for all to interact and bond on a more personal and social level, which in turn promotes teamwork on board. As they say, a happy ship is a safe ship,” says Sripathi.

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