In a magnificent tribute to outstanding contribution and leadership in the maritime industry, Dr. Anil Sharma has been honored with the prestigious The Maritime Standard Excellence Award 2023. The accolade is bestowed upon a visionary who has influenced the maritime sector through exceptional dedication, innovation, and excellence. Dr. Sharma, a long serving servant of the shipping industry since 1992, has not only steered his company to incredible heights but has also actively championed the sustainable and ethical transformation of maritime practices globally.
With a career that encapsulates roles as an academic and a strategic entrepreneur, Dr. Sharma's journey is a narrative of relentless pursuit towards revolutionizing ship and offshore asset recycling. At the helm of Global Marketing Systems (GMS), the world's largest buyer of ships and offshore assets, he has been instrumental in shaping an industry often marred by fragmented practices and environmental concerns.
Dr. Sharma's odyssey commenced in India, transcending international waters, and planting firm roots in the United States as a professor and chairperson in business and marketing at the University of Maryland. Not settled for a “safe life “he took a risk to start a new venture from a humble basement in his home in Maryland. Thus fostering GMS's growth into a multi-vertical, global powerhouse synonymous with innovation, sustainability, and leadership. Dr. Sharma's leadership is best exemplified by his groundbreaking contributions to the industry. A memorable instance that stands testament to his impact is the transformative narrative he set at the first-ever global conference on 'ship breaking' in 2007. It was his persuasive advocacy that rebranded a segment of the industry to 'Ship Recycling'.
The values that Dr. Sharma upholds - integrity, excellence, and professionalism - are not mere corporate rhetoric but are deeply woven into the fabric of GMS's culture. These principles are vividly apparent in the company's consistent performance and reputation, which Dr. Sharma has meticulously cultivated over more than three decades of service.
Beyond business acumen, Dr. Sharma's commitment to the environment is unwavering. Through the Sustainable Ship & Offshore Recycling Program (SSORP), he has ardently worked towards educating the industry on environmentally sustainable ship recycling processes. His initiatives have been pivotal in driving the industry towards cleaner and more sustainable operations.
Moreover, Dr. Sharma's influence extends into the ownership of a diversified fleet of mid-aged quality ships through Lila Global, highlighting his versatile engagement with the maritime industry's broad spectrum. His leadership in the maritime industry has earned him a consistent ranking among the top 100 most influential people in the shipping industry, as recognized by Lloyd's List for 13 consecutive years.
Not content with just the maritime industry, Dr. Sharma acquired the 1st division Indian football team Odisha FC in 2016 in the hopes to create a new generation of male and female Indian footballers. Odisha celebrated their first trophy in 2023 and now play in the prestigious AFC Cup.
Dr. Sharma's recognition with The Maritime Standard Excellence Award 2023 is not only a celebration of his individual achievements but also a recognition of his visionary contribution to the industry at large. It underscores a career marked by extraordinary commitment, a drive for innovation, and an unyielding dedication to sustainability and ethical practices.
The maritime industry continues to evolve under his guidance, and his visionary leadership will continue to inspire future generations within the maritime fraternity and beyond.