SHAHRAZI Sha'ari was only 37 years old when he was offered the arduous task of taking over the management of Malaysian Merchant Marine Bhd (MMM) on his return from his studies and working stint in the United States in 2001.
His venture into the shipping industry was purely by choice as he was into it for the challenge and keen interest in the marine business.
“I came back to Malaysia after the Sept 11 terrorists' attack on the US and I was soon offered the management post in MMM.
“Many people were puzzled by my decision to join the company at that time because of the uncertainties in the world economy and the shipping business was no exception. But I took up the challenge because of my interest in the marine business, I have many friends and contacts in the shipping industry from ship captains, engineers to cooks,” he said.
Shahrazi graduated with a bachelor of arts from Macalester College In Minnesota. He worked in the US for five years in a senior managerial position with a civil engineering company before his return to Malaysia.
Looking back, MMM has done very well indeed under his leadership, chalking up an increase in turnover from RM38mil in the financial year ended Aug 31, 2001 to RM120mil last year. The group's after-tax profit was also up from RM8.7mil in the financial year 2001 to RM11mil in the same corresponding period last year.
Shahrazi said his experience in turning around several companies came in handy. He was previously involved in the restructuring of several companies in the manufacturing, communication, engineering and construction sectors before taking the bold step to go into the shipping industry.
His various senior positions included executive director of the Wira Security group of companies and chief executive officer of the Pacific Asia Consolidated group of companies.
Shahrazi came on board MMM and assumed the position of chief executive officer on Aug 8, 2002.
He was appointed to the board of directors of Trenergy (Malaysia) Bhd as group managing director and chief executive officer on Sept 6, 2004.
“I will give myself three years to build up Trenergy,” he said. “As a CEO, it is my duty to give direction and have a vision for the company. It is my job to restore certainty to the company.”
Trenergy became the largest shareholder in MMM via its acquisition of SNAP Capital Sdn Bhd. Trenergy currently holds 100% interest in SNAP Capital, which in turn owns a 28.7% stake in MMM.
On the steel pipe maker Melewar Industrial Group (MIG) Bhd's decision to purchase a substantial stake in Trenergy via its wholly-owned subsidiary Melewar Steel Services Sdn Bhd, Shahrazi said the latest development would not affect the direction and agenda of the Trenergy group.
“There will be no change in our direction and agenda. The Trenergy board of directors will remain,” he told StarBiz.
MIG had acquired 12 million shares representing 16% in Trenergy for RM38.4mil or RM3.20 per share, making it the single largest shareholder in Trenergy.
MIG said the acquisition would provide an opportunity for the group to venture into the “burgeoning” oil and gas industry and its supporting ancillary and shipping activities at a low entry cost.
The move was also in line with MIG's board decision to diversify into other industries to broaden MIG's earnings base.
MIG managing director Tunku Datuk Yaacob Tunku Abdullah said Trenergy was a well-managed, vibrant and profitable oil and gas player with a lot of potential.
He describes oil and gas as the sunrise industry in Malaysia and MIG will see much growth in this sector in the coming years.
According to analysts, the purchase by MIG is appropriate as the group's steel products will complement Trenergy's floating, production, storage and offloading operations.