Capt. Arnab Sen
An ex-student of St. Xavier's High School, Jaipur, he spent first seventeen years of his life in the "pink city" of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, the land of Maharajas. After high school, he landed up in Mumbai, to join Training Ship Dufferin, the premier training institute for Merchant Navy Officers. He completed the mandatory 2 years pre-sea training and endured the ragging and welcomed the fortnightly shore leave. There he learned how to scrub the deck and the use of four-letter adjectives along with the other mundane things like seaman-ship, names of celestial bodies, meteorology, ship construction, and the principles of navigation.
On completion of his pre-sea training he was recuited by India Steamship Co. Ltd. of then Calcutta by campus selection to join as a deck cadet at Rs. 90/- per month for the 1st year. On coming to Kolkata the first Building he entered in the month of June 1963 was the Steamship House, the office of the India Steamship Co. Ltd. In the famous Dalhousie Square.
His first port of call was Chittagong in erstwhile East Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) on board MV Endeavour where his first salary was stolen from his cabin. After completing 3 years of apprenticeship, where he learnt the art of chipping and painting on deck as cheap labour without overtime, he obtained his 2nd Mates certificate of competency. There after, he stuck on with India Steamship Co. and was gradually promoted from Fourth Officer and finally obtained his Master's Certificate of Competency in 1971. His first command was on board MV Nanda Devi, a general cargo vessel where it so happened that the old man (as the Captain is often referred to on board) was the youngest of the officers and crew members.
Having satiated his desire to command a vessel at the tender age of 28, he got interested in doing more in life than just sail from Point A to point B, so decided to come ashore and settle down in Kolkata and since then has dabbled in various businesses from manufacture of Nav Aids and Fibreglass boats to manning and operation of Ocean going vessels. His most recent venture is the manufacture of eco-friendly electric powered fibreglass boats in collaboration with Exide Industries Ltd. These boats have batteries, which can be charged by shore power, solar panels and through an on board wind turbine.
Keeping in touch with all the latest developments in the world of shipping, he is running a maritime training institute which conducts training programs regarding the latest rules and regulations about safety and pollution control measures and has recently started the first ever MBA in shipping in collaboration with Vancouver University Worldwide, Canada.
"My sea days have taken me all around the world where I had rich and beautiful experiences of interacting with different people, culture and language along with enduring extreme weather conditions including many a cyclonic storm. My travels taught me that people all over the world, irrespective of their race, colour, nationality, language all react the same way. From Jippoland to English Bobbies to the cigar smoking women of Denmark, it was a colourful and interesting part of my life where the expression was always 'no problem'".