“Your best ambassador is a current employee, or a past employee who says, ‘the best time of my life was at Anglo-Eastern’,” said Anglo-Eastern Cruise Management’s Sanjay Sukhrani on delivering the right work culture for crew
Ship management services provider Anglo-Eastern ventured into the passenger cruise industry in December 2022 when it acquired Cruise Management International and its sister company CMI Leisure Management (collectively known as CMI).
Anglo-Eastern has since combined its reach and resources with CMI’s expertise in providing management services to shipowners in niche cruise markets, to help deliver better services to clients. Both companies will operate under their new names, Anglo-Eastern Cruise Management and Anglo-Eastern Leisure Management.
“Anglo-Eastern is actively involved in all major sectors across merchanct shipping and has built a reputation for helping its clients achieve effective cost management, compliance and safety,” says Sanjay Sukhrani, president and CEO of Anglo-Eastern Cruise Management. “Its scale and scope can provide the cruise industry with a very efficient service.”
Dietmar Wertanzl, president and CEO of Anglo-Eastern Leisure Management, agrees: “Joining forces is a win-win,” he says. “Now we are under the umbrella of Anglo-Eastern, we can tie into different resources and receive support on a global scale.”
The cruise industry has seen significant growth and change since the Covid-19 pandemic, and both Wertanzl and Sukhrani believe that Anglo-Eastern can help scale accordingly.
“The costs associated with running a ship are staggering and we have the opportunity to leverage Anglo-Eastern’s resources, especially when it comes to procuring the best employees,” says Sukhrani, who believes an employee-driven focus is key. “You must have a career plan for every employee, a pipeline from the engine room to the boardroom.”
This is where Anglo-Eastern can help. It currently has two of the largest maritime training centres in the world and intends to create another focused on the leisure cruise industry, which will train employees in guest service at sea.
Sukhrani was a customer of Anglo-Eastern for 18 years prior to joining and so has seen how the firm’s employee-driven focus helps it to deliver reliable and attentive services to clients.
“I have seen first-hand how Anglo-Eastern treats people,” he says. “We have employees who’ve been here 30-40 years and that’s because we have the right culture. Advertising, Facebook and LinkedIn are all great for promoting your brand, but your best ambassador is a current employee, or a past employee who says, ‘the best time of my life was at Anglo-Eastern’.”
With a stronger workforce and more resources, Anglo-Eastern can now help cruise lines adjust to changing trends and new customer expectations.
“In the ocean safari (expedition cruise) sector, the ship is like a base camp,” says Wertanzl. “When we first started, we had rushed social activities and the bathrooms were in the corridors, but guests were still happy because it was destination-driven.
“Over the past 10 years, the quality of expeditions has been rising as newbuilds have entered the industry with nicer cabins, bigger bathrooms and more restaurants. Guest expectations are now higher too.”
Luxury hotel brands are now branching into the cruise industry and Wertanzl believes that Anglo-Eastern Leisure Management now has the capacity to help them make a smooth transition.
“It’s very nice to get new challenges and explore new concepts,” he says. “With one client we are working on a sushi bar, we also have themed teas and a new steakhouse. We would be a great platform for anybody who would like our expertise in migrating a land-based hotel experience to the sea.”
Anglo-Eastern Cruise Management is also exploring how it can use technology to help its customers get more from available data, increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
“Everything is about data now, how you collect it, analyse it and use it,” says Sukhrani. “Most businesses use data to analyse past performance, but that is looking at things through a rear-view mirror. When you drive a car, you look forward through the windscreen, and that’s the approach Anglo-Eastern is taking. We are using real-time information to make future decisions.
“The customer of tomorrow is genuinely concerned about the planet. So, we have designs for ships fuelled by ammonia or natural gas, and there are proof-of-concept designs for using hydrogen as a fuel. The company is investing a lot in these technologies that makes sense for our customers and stakeholders.”
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.