Tuesday, Jun 25, 2019

Capt. Rajesh Unni


Alpha Ori Technologies (AOT)



Alpha Ori Technologies (AOT) is a maritime technology innovation start-up based in Singapore. We are working on transforming the multi-trillion-dollar maritime industry from analog, disjointed systems into smart digital enterprises. Along with Alpha Ori, I am also the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Synergy Marine Group operating in Ship Management and Global United Group, a subsidiary focussed on Ship Ownership. The Group is headquartered in Singapore and has multiple offices in India (Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Cochin) and Tokyo, New York, London, Dubai, Philippines.

I have been continuously engaged in the task of driving technology innovation within the shipping industry. In 2010, I established an IT company in India and later expanded it to the US to build world class maritech products. Along with a team of industry leaders and Silicon Valley Technocrats, Alpha Ori was set up to spearhead a digital revolution. Encouraged by support from the Singapore Government, the core software development and R&D is being carried out at Singapore facility where Alpha Ori is headquartered. Various stakeholders have come together to build a collaborative techno-ecosystem for the maritime industry.  



I did my schooling from the Sainik School, Kazhakootam, Kerala with full government scholarship. While there, I served as the school captain and passed out with flying colours. Being deeply interested in sea-faring I decided to pursue it as my profession. In 1991, I joined Univan Ship Management, a Hong Kong-based ship management company as a cadet. In a matter of few years, I progressively rose from Cadet to the rank of Master and obtained command at 26.

During this period, I also undertook training and certification exams at LBS College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Research in Mumbai, India. With passion and dedication, I rose rapidly from Cadet to Third Officer, Second Officer and Chief Officer—and was consistently ranked among the institution’s top three student. I attained the rank of Master in 1999.

Education being my enduring passion, I recently completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) of Harvard Business School, Executive Education.



1991 - Joined Univan Ship Management as a cadet

1999 - Took command of a chemical tanker

2000 - Came ashore to set up the claims and new insurance division of Fleet Management Limited, Hong Kong

2004 - Tasked with setting up the Fleet Management Singapore office

2006 - Founded Synergy Maritime Ltd in Chennai, India

2009 - Synergy Marine Group incorporated with Singapore as headquarters

2010 - Global United Shipping (S) Pte. Ltd. incorporated as a Ship Owning entity

2011 - Synergy Maritime approved as ‘long-term partner’ by oil majors BP and Shell 

2015 - Incorporated Global United Gas Carriers Pte. Ltd. a JV company, with Mitsui & Co (Japanese trading house)

2017 - Incorporated Alpha Ori Technologies Lte in Singapore, R&D Center in Silicon Valley

2017 - Center of Innovation (COI) launched in Singapore

2018 - SMARTShip 1.1.1 V released

2018 - Voted Hottest Start up in Silicon Valley by PlugnPlay


Areas of Expertise

I have extensive experience in the maritime Industry, both in Ship Management & Commercial Management. Having worked as a Master Mariner, I understand the on-board operations of the ship thoroughly. Technology being one of my areas of passion, I have picked up a fair deal of knowledge in maritech products. My interest areas are Future Technologies with a focus on SMARTShip systems including Big Data Sciences, Predictive Analytics for Asset maintenance etc.

I am a serial entrepreneur and always on the lookout for newer areas to invest be it technology or modern products/services. In the marine industry circles, I am regarded for introducing innovative practices and I believe, viewed as a thought leader. The industry experts also consider Synergy as a forward looking and a trend setting company which is breaking conventional barriers. On the personal front, I am an avid social entrepreneur and back numerous community projects.


What have been the main lessons you have learned in your career and how do you implement them in your management? Can be short or in-depth.

My driving philosophy be it company or personal is;

  • People are our strength ALWAYS. Empowerment across the board and encourage innovation at all levels. Reduce power distance.
  • Safety PAYS. Our company is primarily built on this premise. Also, in personal life I encourage people to take safety as a priority.
  • Trust & Integrity are the KEY.  Be it client relationship or personal.



Capt. Katsuya Abe San, President of Nissen Kaiun is my mentor right from my early days in the industry. His trust in my capabilities is truly humbling. He has backed all my ventures and continues to do so. Having such faith reposed in me makes me believe that mentorship goes a long way in shaping an individual’s world views. Abe San continues to guide my efforts and encourages me to be a better person. I try to sincerely follow in his footsteps.

Andreas Sohmen Pao, Chairman of BW group is a remarkable person. Our shared belief is to work towards creating a better ecosystem for our industry. His constant encouragement, sharp intellect, focus and dedication motivates me to set the bar high. Both these people are a constant guiding source in my life. I am deeply indebted to them for their confidence in me.

The greatest driving force in my life continue to be my grandparents and parents.



I strongly believe that, ‘Change is the only constant’ in this world. So, I always look to learn, improve and innovate. My learning is a continuous process.

My advice to people is; ‘Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally’. If passion drives your work, then you are bound to succeed. You must keep at it.

And finally, this quote by Mahatma Gandhi pushes me to be a better person, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’. It helps me to remain grounded and reminds me of how fortunate I am. I truly believe that sharing is caring.




ENTREPRENEURSHIP: An overused concept for an underused reality.


When being part of a generation on which the flag of entrepreneurship seems to be constantly waving in the sea of young professionals looking to succeed in the business world, more often than not, we tend to drown in the... Read More




© Worldfolio Ltd.

The Worldfolio provides intelligence about the economies with the highest growth potential in the world, with a focus on understanding them from within.


FOLLOW US                   | Terms and conditions - Privacy policy - Cookies policy.