The big news is coming through that the demolition business will likely go through a complete makeover. The demolition cash buyers who previously operated between the grey zone between ship owners and the shipbreakers may have to go through a new initiative. With Ali, son of Tahir Lakhani from Dubai Trading Agency (DTA) joining the business it seems that the market will change drastically in the upcoming times.
He had been in the UK learning his trades for the past few years and joins the business after finishing his university. He will likely look to build on his father’s business empire that already has United Eastern Trading (UET) located in London under his tutelage. He is known to be a straight-talking trader who is known for his pull-no-punches stance and has a vast knowledge and experience of shipbreaking back from his days in the Pakistan based industry where he had worked for 12 man-hours a day to hone himself.
He is likely to find cut-throat competition in the market and it seems that he will have to take big strides to survive in this daunting industry. With the ship-breaking business already set for a change due to the new standards coming in place from International Maritime Organisation (IMO), it presents a challenge for him something which he won’t shy away from. The business operations were also called in by many environmental fundamentalists who wanted the ship breaking to be in line with the environmental practices.
He iterated that, “As far as my place in the company is concerned, I have had an education, I genuinely have an interest in ship recycling and the way to take it forward is to be environmentally friendly”. He has been seen recently taking strides and doing rounds between the Dubai based DTA and London based UET. He is also involved with UET in sale and purchase deals and is something that is part of his ever-growing portfolio. His critical portfolio as he described his work takes care of contacting clients and seeking corporate-level contacts and guests.
The business group has been increasing its work scale in the last few years with the stats showing over 100 ships demolished last year. That is a sharp rise from the early days in 2008 when the company demolished around 30 ships approximately. They are also active in the new upcoming and rising economic power India via the UET group. The group handled the sale of two VLCCs to the tanker based region of Bangladesh. This proved a masterstroke in venturing into the market previously led by the giant Global Marketing Systems (GMS).
The competition is already racking up between cash buyers and not many enterprises come forth with a transparent view of their operations. But He is quite keen on maintaining transparency and discussed in detail the activities and ambitions of the group. They are also hoping to join in ship ownership business. The company already has insurance and ship management business between them offered via the subsidiary CB Marine and Ali wants to expand the scope of work.
He is already involved with the group’s ship trading business and also deals with third party management work. He is also likely to face the wrath of the controversies that generally surround the ship scrapping business. With numerous cases coming in from the US, Indian subcontinent, and Europe about the hazardous procedure of ship dismantling, Ali Lakhani is aware of taking steps with caution.