Home CSN news Monjasa: in Limassol to build relations and attract new talents

Monjasa: in Limassol to build relations and attract new talents

Cyprus Shipping News asked Monjasa’s General Manager, Theodoros Mitsingas, how his company has evolved in Limassol and what it will take for Limassol to take the next leap forward as a Mediterranean shipping hub.

What is Monjasa’s role in the shipping industry?

TM: Monjasa means personal business in the oil and shipping industry. We are fuelling global trade with around 5 million tonnes of marine fuels yearly, operating a fleet of 20 tankers and 10 offices. In a commodities market it is indeed the relations and personal service that make Monjasa relevant to the shipping communities locally and regionally.  

We continue seeing an increasing demand for our services and the fact Monjasa now ranks as the world’s 6th largest global marine fuels supplier means a lot to us. Thereby, Monjasa is also the largest marine fuels trading company represented in Cyprus.  

What brought Monjasa to Limassol?

TM: Well, we arrived in Cyprus in 2016 because we believed Limassol was and remains, a dynamic city that has a lot to offer to the Shipping industry. I am certain that we shall play our part to keep pushing for developments and realising this potential.

As we see it, an important element is to become a partner to the local community. We are pleased to work with organisations like Young Ship Cyprus and the Cyprus University of Technology amongst other, to further boost awareness of the industry among young people. I feel happy when I see people coming together on our office rooftop and facilitate new relations across the industry.  

In our view, all companies should give something back to the community they are engaged in, and we are happy to hear that Monjasa is a company that inspires young people’s curiosity to the vast range of opportunities the shipping industry by and large, has to offer.


What does your local business look like today?  

TM: Business wise, we are very positive about our current developments in Cyprus and neighbouring markets. We are servicing a wide range of Limassol-based businesses from bulk carrier owners, ship management companies and cruise lines. We are helping them with more options to refuel in areas like Malta, Gibraltar Straits, and Italy to name a few.  

The way I see Monjasa locally is as a gateway to taking bunkers in one of Monjasa’s physical supply areas like West Africa, Panama Canal, the English Channel, Houston and Dubai. As mentioned earlier, we believe in the dynamism of Limassol and are firm in our view the city shall continue to attract shipping companies in the years to come. As such, we expect our presence to add even more value in the future.

 

How does Limassol keep up with other ambitious Mediterranean shipping communities?

TM: In a nutshell, I think it comes down to people. With international companies like ourselves establishing new businesses in Limassol, we are also making it more attractive to explore local opportunities instead of looking outside of the local boundaries for a career. With the right people, we can accomplish great things together.

At Monjasa, we focus on providing our colleagues learning opportunities and prioritise that everyone at our office takes an active part in defining their own development path and also embrace knowledge sharing. This parameter, combined with a strong focus on our values of Respect, Ambition, Curiosity and Smile & Joy have been imperative both for our marine fuel services but also for the gradual expansion of the team from three to ten colleagues here in Limassol. We take a gradual, organic approach to growth and believe that the right way ahead is to pull efforts for sustainability in the workplace. 

In addition, Monjasa Cyprus contributes to the Monjasa Oil and Shipping Trainee (MOST) programme as a home and visiting office for young colleagues during the two-year education, which also includes rotation between Monjasa’s global offices. 

So, in the future, we expect to continue growing our presence in the Mediterranean region and thereby also support cultivating the talent pipeline to our local office and Monjasa worldwide.

 

How is the bunker industry developing these years?

TM: I think the past few years have shown that bunkering is growing increasingly complex. Back in 2017, we anticipated these changes when we organised a seminar for industry professionals discussing the future of bunkering in an increased regulatory framework. Surely few years later we saw that everyone in the industry was busy preparing for the IMO’s 2020 Global Sulphur Cap. Similarly, I am confident that in the near future the demand for minimising our industry’s environmental impact will bring both new challenges and exciting opportunities.  

With this in mind, the importance of quality management from sourcing to delivery of the fuel products is only going to increase. In our day-to-day business, our ISO-certified management systems allow us to start a dialogue with our suppliers and customers around quality and to document our efforts and our yearly progress.

In line with these developments, we have gradually increased the ownership of the supply chain by adding vessels to our fleet that could perform up to the expectations of the market.

 

What kind of quality do you mean?

TM: To give you an example, we are closely monitoring customer satisfaction every time a Monjasa tanker completes a supply. And to be honest, this is not something most ship owners are usually met with. But we would like to know more about our daily performance and be able to adjust our procedures, fleet logistics or the equipment, should we not meet our customers’ expectations.

Thankfully, in 2020, we received a total of 4,047 Customer Satisfaction Surveys of which 4,009 were satisfied.       

Overall, I think that the after sales service is something that our industry has been missing. At Monjasa, we would like to do our part to change this – and who knows, perhaps inspire others to do the same.

 

What does the future hold for Monjasa?

TM: Monjasa is here in Limassol for the long run. We are ambitious and will keep investing in people and new business opportunities together with local partners and I am certain we shall remain appealing and relevant.  We have so much more we would like to accomplish here and I actually feel that we are just casting off on this journey.   

We now have a solid base port in Limassol from where the positive developments we experienced are encouraging our curiosity and optimism for further presence in the Mediterranean. We already have some very concrete plans on how we can become a closer partner to our customers in other destinations.

So, Monjasa is definitely in Cyprus and the Mediterranean to stay. 

 

Interview by: Stella Violari