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Sea of Options

Billionaire Harry Banga of The Caravel Group envisions Chandigarh to be shipping's support hub

He always dreamt of spreading his wings and it came as no surprise to Harindarpal Singh Banga’s parents when at the age of 16, he opted for a career in the merchant navy. Today, Harry Banga, as he is populary known, is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Caravel Group.


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Headquartered in Hong Kong, Caravel is a diversified global conglomerate focused on the trading and logistics of dry bulk raw materials, investment management, and strategic asset ownership. Banga is ranked among the top 50 richest people in Hong Kong.

Banga grew up in Amristar (born on August 10, 1950) and later Chandigarh where he completed his pre-engineering studies. The master mariner and commodities billionaire was in Chandigarh recently to meet seafarers at the PHD House.


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Addressing the city’s mariners at a meeting organised by the Chandigarh Chapter of The Company of Merchant Mariners of India (CMMI) he hoped that the city is evolving itself to be the shipping support hub of north India.

When asked what his mantra for success is, Banga said one should be proud and loyal to whatever one does. “Though lady luck plays a role in one’s journey but even she follows those who do good work,” he added.

Capt Banga said his company, The Caraval Group, which owns about 450 ships, has already opened an office in the city and would definitely be recruiting officers for their shipping business provided they are the best. He lamented that Indian seafarers are losing ground to Philippines and China in the job markets because of the lack of professionalism which needs to be upgraded through intensive education and training.


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CMMI Chandigarh Chapter Chairman Capt P S Ghotra provided an overview of the Chapter activities and said that over a period of time the maritime ecosystem is evolving in the city with the advent of many shipping companies opening their offices here besides training, certification, and recruitment agencies also viewing the city for energetic English-speaking youngsters from the region.

Harry Banga’s school-time friend Capt K J Sujlana in his introduction shared some interesting childhood memories. On this occasion, CMMI Chandigarh Chapter recognised the contribution of some of the maritime institutes including Capt Y Parmar of Maritime Academy,  Capt Vijay Arora of Ascent Register recruiting for Samoa islands, Capt Raj Narula for Charting and Broking, and Master Mariner Arjun Singh whose startup 49 Webstreet is developing software solution to the shipping industry.

Established in 1957 at Mumbai, CMMI has 15 chapters all over India, and the Chandigarh Chapter was formed in 2011.

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