The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) marked a new era in its 50-year history in April by appointing Indian Register of Shipping (IR Class) executive chairman Arun Sharma to head the organisation.

The move officially recognised a new generation of class societies that have sought to have their voices heard at the association for much of the past decade.

Sharma’s chairmanship will, to some extent, be a test of whether these new members can hold their own among industry giants, such as DNV GL, Lloyd’s Register, ClassNK and ABS, that wield considerable influence.