I was seventeen when I left home to join seafaring and had the privilege to sail around the world. Working with multi-ethnic people whose beliefs and values were so distanced from mine taught me to become comfortable with differences and enjoy the ambiguities. After an accomplished career at sea, I decided to travel to the UK to start my academic journey initially with a Masters in Economics and later on, a PhD in Social Sciences at Cardiff University.
After finishing my PhD, I briefly worked at the University of Nottingham as a research fellow and finally took up a role in one of the leading Classification Society as a subject matter expert in safety management and human factors. All these years, I engaged with hundreds of business leaders and frontline workers and started to observe a key frustration across businesses – repeated patterns of failures manifesting through operational failures, product failures, accidents and commercial losses.
In 2017, with a passion to improve organisational learning I bid farewell to monthly wage slips and started my own venture. Based in the North East of Scotland, I travel extensively (of course not at the moment) and delivers learning events across the world. My work is recognised both in the scientific community and across safety-critical industries – maritime, oil and gas, aviation, retail, health, insurance and renewable sector.
I am regularly invited to deliver keynotes, motivational speeches, workshops and guest lectures and has been invited by:
- The United Nations
- Public Administrations
- Accident Investigation Agencies
- Oil Majors
- Energy and Shipping Companies
- Aviation Sector
- Insurance and Health Sector
- Business leaders from around the world
As a widely travelled brown-skinned person brought up in India and educated in the West, I’ve often found my values and beliefs at odds with the society I happened to be in. At first, I was protective, even combative about my values till slowly these differences began to embrace me.
I believe in embracing differences. Today, our society is polarised about everything from politics to climate change. Views and perspectives that differ from ours make us anxious and uncomfortable. We avoid disagreements and differences. In my world, unpacking and understanding these differences can powerfully set us on a path towards learning and growth.
What we believe in is often shaped by our past experiences and memories. During my career at sea, I experienced a near collision which was traumatic as a start but later became a turning point in my life. A decade later when I took up a PhD in Social Sciences it became obvious to me through this journey how the same experience can be narrated in so many different ways. Since then, I have taken up a passion for creating human stories. I find storytelling as a powerful way to promote learning and influence change.
My interests include storytelling, cultural anthropology, organisational learning, safety management and accident investigations.
There is a beautiful expression in anthropology – ‘making the familiar strange and the strange familiar’. I find it very helpful in learning more about myself each day.