Mr. Kariambas says that he admires the big legends of shipping because they started from nothing but they succeed. At this point, he advises us to always work hard even if sometimes the benefits take time to appear. Each day we should focus on becoming a better version of ourselves than the day before, he concludes. As far as it concerns the current maritime landscape, Mr. Kariambas notes that there is still 'a culture of amateurism ' in few areas and therefore, it is time for change.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Elias Kariambas: I liked the idea of becoming an engineer, but it was rather a coincidence to join the shipping industry. I think I was lucky at this point, and I really enjoy working in this very demanding field.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
E.K.: My current role is in Business Development in Greece, where ABS is the leading class society. I like communicating with people and at the same using my technical knowledge and experience to convince them to choose ABS. Sometimes this is not straightforward and I like the challenge.
S4S: When you think of the word successful who's the first person who comes to mind and why?
E.K.: There are a lot of successful people in the shipping industry: owners, engineers, and operators each one in their own field of expertise. I have always admired people - legends - that started from nothing and created fortunes. Captain Panagiotis Tsakos and Aristotle Onassis are good examples.
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why?
E.K.: I cannot refer to one person only. There are a lot of people I worked with and tried to emulate their approach in various different aspects of my life and career. There have been different people in various phases of my working life, such as Prof. Papanikolaou while I was at the National Technical University of Athens. All had a similar attitude: they would work a lot but always maintain a balance by finding time for themselves and what they loved.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?
E.K.: The best piece of advice is to always work hard, even if sometimes you do not clearly see the benefit. At some point you will realize that the knowledge you have gained through the effort is very important. The worst advice is when people say not to bother, not to even try.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
E.K.: My MSC in Business Administration from the Athens University of Economics and Business was a fantastic investment in terms of time, money and sheer sweat! It built on my PHD in Ship Design and Naval Architecture degree to give me the business dimension on top, which is vital to be successful in today’s highly competitive business environment.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why?
E.K.: I would tell myself to stay the course and never give up and trust that I will persevere. I would advise my young self to ignore any advice that makes you deviate from your targets.
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
E.K.: Trying to keep balance between work and pleasure, I spend some time outdoors playing soccer every Saturday and exercise at least 2-3 times per week. It is relaxing and makes me (at least for these few hours) stop thinking about the everyday problems.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
E.K.: There is a culture of amateurism that still exists in some areas of the maritime industry and I believe it is high time that this is consigned to history. Maritime is such a sophisticated and increasingly technological industry today that anything but the highest standards of professionalism threatens to undermine safety, which is what we are all working to enhance.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
E.K.: Always try your best and stay open to new ideas. That way each day you can become better than the day before.
About Mr. Elias Kariambas, Business Development- Greece, ABS
Elias Kariambas is Director, Regional Business Development in ABS, based in Piraeus. He joined ABS in 2012, as Technology and Business Development Manager for the Eastern Region in Europe, and then held the position of Director of Global Ship Systems Centre.
Prior to joining ABS, Dr. Kariambas worked for 17 years as an Engineer and Manager at the plan approval office of Bureau Veritas in Piraeus.
He graduated from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) as a Naval Architect - Marine Engineer, holding also a PhD in Ship Design from NTUA, as well as an MSc in Business Administration from the Athens University of Economics and Business.