LIFE AS A NAVIG8 EMPLOYEE
Why did you choose a career at Navig8?
Towards the end of year 2010, I had completed three semesters of my MBA program in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to take a break before the fourth (and final) semester. And what could be a better break than going back to my old job of a Ship Captain for a few months! This break landed me on a Frontline owned Aframax tanker, which was commercially managed by Navig8 and that is when I started to learn about Navig8’s unique business model. Since I was to graduate in Aug 2011 and was already pursuing opportunities in commercial shipping, Navig8 was the number one name on my list of potential employers. This was especially valid due to Navig8’s global presence and their ability as an employer to place me in any of the geographic locations. During my short tenure on the Navig8 managed vessel, I noticed that the company clearly stood out from its competition by going away from the traditional shipping business model. I was able to recognise this organisational behaviour as the Blue Ocean Strategy: That is to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant. Looking at a company actually implement what we had recently learnt in business school made me believe that Navig8 would be the place to be.
What has your experience been so far?
Having worked only in Hierarchical organizations before Navig8, I did not have experience of working for a Flat organisation like Navig8 and must admit that it has been both challenging and rewarding. Challenging because I have had to quickly get used to reporting and being accountable to several intra and inter departmental (internal) customers instead of one or two superior managers. Rewarding because of the vast exposure and learning that comes from working across the multi-functional, multi-cultural and geographical lines, especially in a flat structure. Another learning benefit at Navig8 has been the quick adaptation to change, as Navig8 is an exceptionally dynamic organisation where ‘change’ is the only constant.
What advice would you give to others considering a career in tanker operations at Navig8?
Speak with as many people in the company as you can, in order to assess if you are the right fit for the organisation. The people powering Navig8 are as dynamic, adaptive and swift as Navig8 itself as an organisation and for that reason it is important to ‘fit-in’ and feel at home rather than be overwhelmed by the organisational energy. If someone believes that they have what it takes to succeed in a growing, rapidly changing and fast paced team like Navig8, and they are offered a career opportunity in tanker operations at Navig8, my advice would be to go for it!
How do you feel you’ve developed since joining Navig8?
In the three and a half years that I have been at Navig8, I can definitely say that no one day has been like another. The journey thus far has been full of learning and growing. While there has been heaps of new commercial shipping knowledge to grasp, at the same time since most of my prior work experience before Navig8 was in the oil tanker industry, I’d say that my learning curve has been smooth and infinite, especially as the learning never stops here at Navig8. Through my interaction with our external and internal customers, I have been able to gain a new insight on how commercial shipping functions not only as a business, but also as a fraternity. My role at Navig8 has also given me the opportunity to get to know different people working at organisations such as Oil Majors, Oil Traders, Ship Owners, Charterers, Technical Operators, Ship Brokers, Terminals and Agencies which is a priceless perquisite in terms of network and relationship building. Having been involved in managing differing types of tank vessels trading globally in multiple routes with multiple chartering entities has been key in painting the Big Picture or a Bird’s Eye View of shipping for me.
How would you describe the organisational culture at Navig8?
Being in the business of service delivery, Navig8’s greatest assets are the people who work here. And due to being a flat structure, all the people at Navig8 have the open door policy when you need to seek advice or opinion, or give a suggestion. The word ‘door’ in this case is purely a metaphor as in fact there are no doors to speak of, since all the offices are designed as open floor plans! The ease of access to lots of vibrant, knowledgeable, and yet friendly people is a great advantage and is the backbone of the organisational culture at Navig8.
How have you found the development opportunities at Navig8?
As the company is rapidly expanding, there are loads of development opportunities at Navig8 for new roles and responsibilities within the organisation. The key is in self-assessing my own existing capabilities and realising the potential to develop new skills to see how I can add value to the company’s endeavours. In order to be sustainable, any personal development must be mutually beneficial to both – the employer and the employee. To summarise, development opportunities certainly exist at Navig8 and it is up to the individual to step forward and present themselves as a candidate.
What are your thoughts on training and development at Navig8?
Barring a few exceptions, most people that join Navig8 are able to hit the ground running as they are adequately experienced for the role that they are hired for. This does mean that if a person is going to start afresh or with relatively less experience, they would need to rely on unconventional ways for training themselves as most of the learning would be accomplished through interacting with colleagues, clients, service providers and on-the-job training. This is a good way to learn as the education achieved would thus be more practical and less academic, focusing on the day-to-day tasks that need to be completed. We could also introduce some classroom type learning, however in a fast paced work environment such as Navig8 there is more to be achieved from learning through working.