Dr. Binay Singh is the CEO of Singh Marine Management Ltd (SMM) and Founder of GSR International. An author of over 50 books, the Odessa, Ukraine based motivational speaker has over 20 years of experience in the maritime industry. He recently formed a non-profit organisation, Global Maritime Community, which serves the interest of seafarers across the globe. In this interview with MARIA DIAMOND, he spoke on his latest book Coronavirus: Opportunity through Adversity, and plans for Nigeria.
You recently released a book, Coronavirus: Opportunity through Adversity. What informed your decision to write it at this time?
COVID-19 became the worst pandemic our world has seen in a century. As the entire globe started to get panicked, I wrote the book, Coronavirus: Opportunity through Adversity to give a different perspective to the world. The book is aimed to give a positive outlook to people in these trying times. I have also dedicated this book to those away from their homes and families to serve mankind, and especially to the seafarers.
Through the book, I wanted the people to focus on inner peace, the power of prayer and the promise of a bright future ahead of all of us. This book just doesn’t tell you how to survive COVID-19, but how to see the good in everything and fill your days with peace and prosperity. The book’s seven chapters talk about how we look at things differently in different situations. Some people can look at this situation in a bad light, criticise it while others can look at it as an opportunity.
I penned this book to show the world how to stay positive and take this global pandemic as an opportunity. We should find opportunity in this adversity and try to adjust and be comfortable wherever we are. There is always a beautiful morning after a stormy night.
You are so keen on Nigeria, what’s your vision and mission for the country?
I love Nigeria as a country; I feel Nigeria has a lot of untapped potential. I would like to create 100 per cent employment, not only for the seafarers, but also for all citizens of Nigeria. I am also looking forward to establishing huge Maritime ventures so I can fulfill my passion to offer employment to each and every one in the world. My mission in life is to fulfill dreams of people and create happy faces around.
Are there specific things you plan to do to inspire Nigerians and how do you intend to achieve that?
Nigerian people are so vibrant and full of enthusiasm. I would like to inspire them through my books, through my messages that I keep sharing with people across the globe.
Are you planning on visiting Nigeria to speak with the citizens in person?
Yes, of course, I have plans to visit Nigeria this year. I am looking forward to visiting the country very soon so I can meet the people face to face and talk to them directly.
You recently partnered with Mr Sammy Ajayi to build GSR – Nigeria in Lagos, tell us about the venture?
Yes, I have partnered with Mr. Sammy Ajayi, who is also committed to work towards providing 100 per cent employment to all seafarers’ in Nigeria. The purpose of GSR Nigeria is to help the Nigerian society and assist its people so they can reach their full potentia
In your book, My fantastic voyage to Odessa, you revealed that your peers called you ‘Mr Gandhi’ at the time, do you follow the Gandhi philosophy?
Yes, a lot of my peers called Mr. Gandhi as he led a simple life. I also believe in the essence of simplicity, living a life, which is filled with hope and positivity. Just like him, I also believe in giving; he helped people in need without expecting anything in return. He encouraged the people of India to bring peace and harmony to the nation. I truly stand by Gandhi’s philosophy – Treat people as you would like to be treated. If you will change, the world will change with you.
Are there leaders in Africa that you look up to?
Yes, I look up to Nelson Mandela; his extraordinary achievement was to encourage harmony and peace. He is a global icon, among other things because he showed that hatred couldn’t be overcome by hatred but by empathy. He taught people the power of empathy and forgiveness and also how to look ahead and have a strong focus on the future, not the past.
How many books do you intend to write? Are they for commercial purpose?
So far, I have written more than 50 books and I have plans to write about 10,000 books. The purpose of writing so many books is to just inspire people. I would like to help people lead a positive life, a life that is filled with sincerity and compassion. If my books can help someone lead a joyous life, my objective will be fulfilled.
Which of your books would you recommend for an average Nigerian youth working towards success?
There are 2 books that I would like to bring into focus – Today’s Youth Tomorrow’s Leaders and Dr. Binay Singh’s Philosophy of Success – Through these books, I would like to guide the youth of Nigeria to focus on their future and be sincere in their endeavors. Today’s youth are going to be our leaders tomorrow. I urge the younger generation to follow honesty and integrity that will eventually lead them to the path of success. How do these young people achieve success? Very few know how to truly achieve success in their personal or professional lives. Through my books, I would like to share some of the pillars of success that I have used to build my career on and how they can build their own success, one step at a time.
What does success mean to you?
Success is very subjective. For different people, it means different things; it doesn’t mean just financial success. One needs to be honest, sincere and empathetic to be successful. Success means doing something that makes one happy. For me, it also means to grow and develop mentally, ethically and spiritually.
What should young people do to achieve success in their careers or businesses?
The most important advice I would like to give young people is that they should be sincere and hardworking. There is no substitute for hardwork in this life; it means that they might take a few extra days or years to reach their goals, but the destination will be worth every struggle. Staying positive is also imperative. They must engage themselves with various things in order to stay enthusiastic and active.
Are you going to write any book specifically for Nigerians?
Yes, I have plans to write a lot of books on Nigeria and its beautiful people.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy spending time doing things like CrossFit and yoga. I also play the accordion and sing songs regularly to keep my spirits high.