Hi! Thanks for visiting my website in which I share my experiences of life, in shipping and some insights which hopefully you find interesting.
My name is Parani. I grew up in the lovely Andaman & Nicobar Islands which are a chain of 572 islands and rocks in the emerald waters of the Bay of Bengal. With the sea constantly as a backdrop, a love for ships and the sea was just natural for me.
I entered my career at sea at the age of 17, quitting my studies in civil engineering after a month when I realised what my true calling was. I joined as a Deck Cadet, sailing on various kinds of ships for 3 years out of home at a stretch. I joined Cadetship as a fresh teen, and finished it a man in every sense, having undergone some rigorous time at sea, testing me to my limits, both mentally and physically.
After my Cadetship, I became an officer and continuing to slowly and steadily learn the trade. At the age of 24, I was suddenly the second-in-command of a ship as the Chief Officer, responsible for the safe loading, care and discharging of cargo, as well as the safety of the crew and the maintenance of the ship.
On one of my vacations, I learnt meditation because a cousin told me that if you mastered it well enough, you could do with just 3 hours of sleep a day! More on that in my blogs! Also during one of my vacations, I met and I married a wonderful woman called Vidhya who sailed with me on my ships for the next 3 years.
Command of the ship for me came as a fulfilment of my childhood dream; when it came though, I was filled with both excitement on the occasion, and trepidation, on the huge responsibility I was undertaking. At the age of 29, I was the youngest ship captain in a fleet of 300 ships. I soon took to manoeuvring a ship like it was an extension of myself. I enjoyed every minute of my time on the ship’s Bridge. It was my ship! I would learn a lot of things about ships, and about myself during this period.
During my vacations, I did a variety of freelance assignments, assisting a Mooring Master berth tankers at an oilfield, training at Nautical School, an examiner for ship’s crew and a marine advisor to a shipping company. I narrate some of these experiences and insights in my blogposts. I could have been a ship captain for ever!
Life had other plans though! One of my vacation endeavours, writing an exam for the Institute of Chartered Ship Brokers landed me the first position among all candidates worldwide. (I took a trip to London to receive the prize; see the photo in the gallery) The achievement caught the attention of my company who invited me to head the Safety and Quality Department at the company’s headquarters in Hong Kong. My next 6 years in Hong Kong was an interesting period which transformed me from being a ship captain to a corporate executive. Most importantly, I got promoted to a father!
The responsibility of such a position is immense. My job was to develop and implement the right strategies to ensure our Safety Management Systems were robust and could deliver the desired results. It was an exciting period though there were also the share of accidents and operational issues which kept us awake for many a night. Safety Management is one of the most important controls in industries such as shipping, aviation, nuclear and chemicals, and I cannot stress enough the involvement of people in making it a success! Hong Kong is a nice place to live; I made several friends, learnt Kung-Fu, and was part of my Nautical Institute Dragon-Boat racing team.
A company restructuring brought me and my family to Cyprus where I am currently based. Here my versatility came to the fore again. I now was in charge of the Crewing & Training functions of the company, for over 6000 seafarers. The ability to interact with professionals from different countries, backgrounds and mind-sets was a great learning experience. It gave me valuable insights into how people work, when they are most vulnerable, and these insights gave me the idea for my book Golden Stripes.
I do believe in practical experience being the best teacher but it is also important that such learning is augmented by formal education. While working round the clock in challenging roles, I managed to study for and obtain a Master’s Degree in Business Law (LLM) from De Montfort University and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the Cyprus International Institute of Management, and a NLP Master-Practitioner’s Certificate, also from Cyprus.
I also keep my mind open to learn from all sources. For my professional knowledge, I rely on the professional journals and seminars of the Nautical Institute, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and of other reputable industry bodies.
For physical fitness and cognitive agility, I rely on martial arts, weight-training, yoga, reading and writing books, playing chess and helping my daughter with her school homework!
I have shared a lot of my experience, studies, research, insights, wisdom from peers and friends into the books I have written. I am sure you will find my books very interesting and rewarding to read! I have also shared with you some of my favourite movies, videos, songs and books.
Feel free to share with me any comments you may have, the contact tab will deliver your email to me!
And this is my fun conversation on the popular #Ask Virardi show, about me and my books. Ask Virardi 136
This is my interview at the popular radio show 'All about Shipping' All About Shipping interview
All the best!