From almost shutting down to top industry player: Delhi boy Gaurav Saini kept TECO Chemicals afloat and relevant in a cut-throat maritime sector

Once on the verge of shutting down, a Singapore company has not only managed to stay afloat, but has also emerged as an industry leader. The man leading the charge is a “Delhi boy” — from the Indian capital city, Delhi — who has also evolved from being just another name on the payroll to acquiring a 10 per cent stake in the company.

This is the story of Gaurav Saini, Managing Partner at TECO Chemicals. So, it wasn’t surprising to see Saini appear sporty and wear a satisfied look as people from the shipping industry attended the company’s celebratory dinner recently at the scenic Fico restaurant at the East Coast Park in Singapore.

Gaurav Saini, Managing Partner and Executive Board Member of TECO Chemicals, stands proud next to his company’s brand promise poster. Photo courtesy: TECO Chemicals

A keen cricketer, Saini got bitten by the golf bug, and now makes sure he plays at least a round every week. But this wasn’t the case a decade ago, when he joined the marine chemical company in January 2015. While he battled the ups and downs in life, Saini found his anchor in his family, whom he keeps close; also, he is willing to trade his newfound love for some quality family time. Turning 41 on December 7, he insists, “Never on the weekend. Weekends are my family, my daughter.”

Interestingly, he is already training his young daughter in the marine chemicals industry. “I love spending time with my daughter. In addition to doing all the fun stuff, we talk about the marine industry and, amazingly, she finds it interesting.”

That’s not the only ‘child’ he has nurtured over the years. Saini describes TECO Chemicals as his first child. His passion for the company and what he does was the reason for his meteoric rise from a sales manager to a part owner and a Board member.

Guests at the TECO gathering. Photo courtesy: TECO Chemicals

Saini’s experience of nearly two decades started with Following his stint there, he forayed into the FMCG market with Africa-based A-Z Corporation. His bond with TECO Chemicals, arguably, has been the most beneficial for both parties, as Tore Enger, his current boss from Norway, decided against closing the company, a decision that would go on to pay rich dividends later.

The 40-year-old’s contribution shone through as he was instrumental in making the organisation one of the most profitable and prominent marine chemical companies within the wider maritime sector.

The marine chemicals industry faces stringent environmental regulations, requiring specialised marine chemicals for scrubbers, ballast water treatment, and tank cleaning. Rising to the challenge, TECO Chemicals, led by Saini, has emerged as a guiding force.

With his leadership and vision, Saini has leveraged innovation and strategic partnerships to redefine the company’s role from mere supplier to holistic solution provider. “Our focus isn’t solely on selling chemicals,” asserts Saini. “We’re focused on innovating, creating sustainable solution packages, offering comprehensive services to the marine and shipping industry.”

Gaurav Saini (right) poses with one of the guests at the party. Photo Courtesy: TECO Chemicals.

TECO has been aligned with the changing industry landscape. The introduction of IMO 2020 regulations propelled them to expand beyond conventional methods.

Recognising the need for a more comprehensive approach, TECO Chemicals developed solutions like the TECO Urea Generator in partnership with DongHwa Entec, a company specialising in heat transfer technology, empowering vessels to blend urea onboard, thus revolutionising logistics, cost, and sustainability.

Saini’s journey reflects a commitment to striving for excellence. His rise from humble beginnings to senior leadership and being a shareholder leader within the company is a testament to his dedication and astute business acumen. Under his guidance, TECO Chemicals witnessed exponential growth, marking its place among the industry’s top players.

The company’s forward-looking stance doesn’t halt at present achievements. Saini’s vision for the future involves pioneering alternative chemicals for marine use, ensuring both cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

TECO Chemicals’ success story under Saini’s leadership exemplifies resilience, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. As the maritime sector charts a course towards a greener future, TECO Chemicals remains a beacon, offering not just products but innovative solutions that redefine industry standards.