It’s the first of September 1994 and my phone rings, it is on the first day that I started my
newly founded company Amels Shipbrokers, which at that moment, I find both exciting and a
The man on the phone is Uday whom I met about a year ago when I was still in my last job as
commercial director of Frisian Shipyard Welgelegen (FSW) and we did a very innovative
project together concerning Open Top Container Feeder Vessels.
At the time of the phone call and the earlier project he is the manager of Carrybox from
Rotterdam / Geneva, who are running a container line from Rotterdam – UK – Portugal a
two week round trip with two vessels hence one sailing per week per port.
As I have experienced many phone calls after this memorable first client in my new company
call, Uday has some new and exciting ideas he wants to talk about.
MY, “But Uday I am not a shipyard director anymore” is not at all off putting for him, to the
contrary he is very encouraging and sees great potential for a joint future.
As I learned through the years Uday is a real autodidact and has F.I. much more active
knowledge of the Christian faith and the Bible than I have with my Protestant upbringing,
this is even more true for his knowledge of Islam and other world faiths.
If we switch to world literature to my impression, he read it all.
What I know from his corporate life is that he started as a cadet with the Shipping
Corporation of India (SCI) and ended his stint there as the captain of a very large OBO carrier
with a large amount of space for training cadets.
Uday has a certain fearlessness best demonstrated by the story of this trips with crude carriers in the West Asia Gulf during the first gulf war, where during one voyage, his vessel was hit by a missile, that lucky for the ship and crew did not explode, he also had a sort of stare
down with an Iranian warship that was intending to shoot at them but got second thoughts
after talking to Uday over the VHF.
Via a Hongkong shipmanager and later on with Carrybox he ended up in Rotterdam because
his by then girlfriend (later wife) is Dutch. In the meantime Uday is also Dutch. You could
safely say that his romantic mind steered him towards the Netherlands.
In the early 2000’s we became business partners and started, together with three other
partners, WO shipping, plus Womar in Singapore, because of the 2008 financial crises we
had to wind down WO Shipping and were able to grow the commercial entity Womar in
Singapore, in 2010 we each went our own way businesswise but kept close contact.
During the years that we know each other I have grown quite an admiration for Uday,
because of his unique way of thinking and fearless “go for it” approach.
We have been together through real highs and lows and it is easy to be friends in good times
but I am also convinced that only in bad times you get to know the real character of a
person, we have been together through bad times and came out as friends.
As I told Uday at that time, I felt honored when he approached me by the end of 2019 to join
him on his journey with what has become the Elegant Exit Company by now, do I know him
well? That is still a good question, he will always remain a bit mysterious, maybe a better
question should be; do I trust him? I leave that judgment to you after you have read this