Marified was a finalist of PIER71’s Smart Port Challenge 2019. In a recent joint announcement by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), through its entrepreneurial arm NUS Enterprise, it was awarded S$50,000 in grant funding from MPA towards prototype development and test-bedding of their solutions. We had a chance to catch up with Marat Zalalov, CEO & Co-Founder, Marified. This is the second part of the interview.
As a result of the current pandemic, almost every industry, including maritime is experiencing a crisis like no other. It requires a comprehensive and coordinated policy response. Perhaps you could shed some light on what this may entail for the maritime industry in APAC?
That’s a very good question. In my opinion, this crisis will first and foremost improve the efficiency of intergovernmental cooperation. APAC region is unique in this sense, as unlike many other regions in the world it has been through SARS and most importantly learned its lessons well, which we see in the statistics of the current pandemic. We know that MPA is committed to digitalisation, and, frankly speaking, we are direct beneficiaries of this commitment, as we are alumni of PIER71 (a joint initiative between MPA and NUS Enterprise). Together we believe that blockchain is an enabler the maritime industry can leverage on its journey to the future. We hope that other countries will take the same proactive approach as Singapore and drive digitalisation in these challenging times as it is already supported by IMO (International Maritime Organisation). In plain English – it is time to move from paper to digital documents. And there is no safer way than using blockchain.
With scientists predicting that the Covid-19 pandemic could still be around for at least 2 years, and no vaccine for at least another 2 years too, the new normal will be remote working, social distancing, etc. How do you think the maritime industry will cope with this new reality?
Some things will change for the better, e.g. online learning and even inspections, improved intergovernmental cooperation and adoption of single standards, and of course digital documentation. We foresee to be a part of this wave of digitization, as our solution will help seafarers to avoid unnecessary face-to-face interaction. These small changes will provide significant time savings for the maritime industry and most importantly save the lives of seafarers.
Finally, for 2020 and beyond, how are you guys future-proofing your business going forward?
We believe that countries will start lifting more and more restrictions and by the end of the summer everything will go back to normal in a significant part of the world and the maritime industry will regain its full momentum. Businesses will start adopting more solutions that will help them to go through similar situations easier, and we are falling exactly into this category. We are looking forward to helping maritime stakeholders to make the next wave of the restrictions as smooth as possible. At the company level, we are taking special care of our cash requirements and trying to use every opportunity that comes our way.
Marified has created a digital wallet that secures a seafarer’s certifications against forgery and is accessible from anywhere in the world. For more information, head to www.marified.network
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Anil started his career in journalism all the way back in 2003. After traversing the sphere of editorial, corporate communications and advertising, he has now come full circle and is back in the world of journalism. He believes in the power of the written word, and its ability to enthrall, delight and inform the reader.
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