Cdr Abhishek Kankan

A mechanical engineer, submariner, technocrat, project manager, administrator, marine commando, SCUBA diver, paratrooper and mountaineer, Cdr Abhishek Kankan is currently one of the most popular & sought-after motivational speakers, corporate trainers and coach in India.

Cdr Abhishek Kankan is one of the rare “Achiever – Trainers” in India, whose inspirational affirmations and motivational perspectives are drawn from real-life experiences. He summited Mt Everest in 2004 creating a number of records including one of the first Submariners in the world and first Navy in the world. He was awarded the coveted NaoSena Medal (Gallantry) by the then honourable President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on Republic day, 2005.

Whilst serving in Indian Navy for 21 years, he has lead teams in high technological projects of submarine construction including Nuclear, in stifling conditions of Submarines as well as in warzone. An IIM Indore alumni with international exposure, having expertise in strategic planning, policy decision making, project management, operations, Human resource management, stakeholder management, training & development, and overseeing international contracts and documentation

A passionate outdoorsman and extreme challenges junkie. , He is one of the first Indians to do Water Para jumps with US Navy SEALs. He has been leader of Kailash Manasarover Yatra, 200 km rafting expedition on Brahmaputra and many other treks and outdoor activities.

  • Corporate trainer – Achieving Organizational & your Everest program, Resilient & High Altitude Leadership, Team building, Conflict Management, Personality Development, Business Communication, Stress Management, Change Management through workshops and experiential learning programs
  • Motivational speaker, Keynote speaker.
  • Conducting Experiential Learning activities through outdoor & adventure activities.
  • Dynamic and inspirational team leader experienced in leading cross-functional & cross-culture teams ensuring camaraderie and team building
  • Human resource management – Skilled in harnessing human capital, recruiting, selection, training & development, motivation, team building, mentoring, evaluating and counseling
  • Project management that includes implementation, negotiations, organizational planning, financial planning, manpower planning, managing key stakeholders including International partners
  • Operations – Optimal resource utilization, augmentation by innovative solutions & planning
  • Risk and crisis management
  • Conducted 3 day outbound training Program on Resilient Leadership for BHEL DGMs from 26-28 Nov 14.
  • Speaker at the Corporate Seminar at NMIMS, Mumbai and IIM Lucknow in Nov 2014.
  • Conducted workshop on Personality Development for NACEN (National Academy for Customs, Excise & Narcotics), Mumbai 10-11 Sep 14.
  • Guest Faculty at IIM Bangalore for Executive Education Programme on Leadership
  • Lessons from 11 – 13 Aug 2014 for high potential managers.
  • Conducted Workshop on Project Management at Project Management Institute, Mumbai Chapter on 06 April 2014. The feedback rating was 4.6 out of 5.
  • Conducted Workshop on Team Building for Technip on 13 Mar 14, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.
  • Co-hosted Workshop on Business Communication and Effective Leadership for SOPRA India, a leader in consulting, IT services and software development in Europe, providing assistance & guiding its clients to ensure success of their complex transformation projects.
  • Motivational Talks/ Workshops with leadership lessons delivered at IIM, Indore, DSSC Staff College, Wellington, Cadets Training, Lonavla, Mother Dairy Ltd, Mumbai and the Coonoor Club, amongst others.
  • Judge for Leadership competitions at IIM Indore.
  • As Senior Overseer, Submarine construction project from 2013 till May 2014, worth about Rs 24,000/- crores at MDL, Mumbai involving international stakeholders
  • As Staff Engineer Officer, Command Headquarters 2011-2013, responsible for formulation of policies & strategy, strategic decision making, scrutinizing performance of lower organizations, organizational planning, project and vendor management
  • As Chief Engineer Officer (CEO), Operational Authority  2008-2011
  • o Advisor to the highest operational authority on Marine Engineering matters
    o Responsible for strict compliance of procedures to meet stringent norms for operations and maintenance of  machinery intensive submarines worth about Rs 20000/- crores
    o Lead about 30 officers & 1000 sailors and their HR, training, morale & staffing needs
    o Authority for conduct of Staff Sea Checks of crew and safety
    o Enhanced support functions by 25% approx. by Resource Optimization, out-of-the-box solutions & Capacity Enhancement
    o Conceptualized &pioneered procedure for repair of underwater appendages in afloat condition thus saving lakhs to the ex-chequer

  • Deputy Project Manager, Classified Project 2004- 07. Responsible for ab-initio preparation and scrutiny of documentation (Technical Description and Operating Instructions) in collaboration (Contract negotiation and compliance) with international stakeholders
  • Submarines 1998-2003.Deputy &HOD, Mechanical Engineering onboard submarines responsible for Operations and maintenance of equipment & systems, Inventory Management, training & morale of skilled crew, safety and liaison with agencies
  • Marine Commando 1995-98. Responsible for strategic & tactical decision making,formulation and execution of operations. Achieved major success in special operations.
  • Member of Naval Recruitment Team2012. Conductedtests, GD & PI (Group Discussion Personal Interview) for over 12000 final year Engineering students for Class 1 officer entry. Did capsule course at Service Selection Board (SSB) centre, Bhopal
  • Member of Naval Motivational Team 2006.
  • Summiting Mt Everest on 29 May 2004, creating world record (1st Navy & 1st Submariners in the world, traversed record 8848 + 50 mtrs height
  • In Jun 2003, successfully climbed the highest peak in India, Mt Kamet. Evacuated a fellow climber who was immobile and had suffered severe body poisoning
  • Qualified Ship’s (SCUBA) diver from Diving school, Cochin since 1995. Qualified PADI (USA) Dive Master with CPR and AED Certification since Apr 2012
  • Leader for Kailash Manasarover Yatra 2009 batch 3 (30 days expedition). Responsible for planning, logistics, rations, photo cover, health, morale and liaising with Chinese officials
  • Leader of the 200 Km White water rafting expedition on River Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh in Jan 2012. Responsible for logistics, risk mitigationand itinerary planning
  • Paratroopers course at PTS Agra in 1996. Also was one of the first Indians to do Water Parachute jumps with US Navy SEALs
  • Organised and participated in several treks and hikes in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and in the Himalayas from Nubra valley to Arunachal Pradesh
  • Certification Course in Business Management at IIM Indore 2013 – 14
  • Master of Science in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras in Apr 2008. Did course at DSSC, Wellington
  • Masters Diploma in Business Administration (MDBA) in Personnel Management, Symbiosis, Pune. Awarded in Jul 2006
  • Operational Research& System Analysis capsule at CDM, Hyderabad in 2012
  • Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from JNU, New Delhi in 1993. Did four year course at Naval College of Engineering 1989- 1993
  • Marine Engineering Specialization Course, INS Shivaji (1994-1995)
  • Schooling at Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun (4th in all India merit list for the Jul 1982 batch) and The Army Public School, New Delhi
  • NAOSENA MEDAL (Gallantry) in January 2005 by President of India
  • The Chief of Naval Staff ( CNS) Commendation in 1998 for special operations.
  • 2nd time the CNS Commendation in 2001, for innovation and gallant action
  • ‘On the spot’ Commendation by FOC-in-C, ENC on 31 Jul 2009 for pioneering & innovative way of securing complex wire mesh underwater in high risk-condition
  • 1st in the rigorous elite MARCOS (GD) course in 1995. Only 4 out of 25 qualified
  • ‘Best trainee’ in Basic Mountaineering Course at HMI (Darjeeling) in Mar 2003
  • Sports – Best Boxer at RIMC and Naval Academy. Cadets Cross country champion in 1989 & 1990, Marathoner & Karate champion.
  • Featured in Dainik Jaagran, Amar Ujala, Dainik Janvarni, Meerut, 24 Nov 2014
  • Articles published in ‘Veerkumars of Rajwada’ magazine Mar 2014
  • Acknowledged as one of the ‘ACHIEVERS’ in INS Shivaji official website
  • Articles published in ‘Veerkumars of Rajwada’ magazine Mar 2014; Quarter Deck 2001 titled ‘Hearts of Oak – Remembering a Marine Commando’; Periscope magazine Dec 09 on Kailash Manasarover Yatra 2009;Interviews published in METROPLUS of ‘The Hindu’
  • Visakhapatnam edition on 29 Aug 2009; in Pioneer newspaper and in-flight magazine ‘Darpan” in Oct 2004
  • Member of Institute of Marine Engineers, Project Management Institute, Mumbai Chapter; PADI (USA) Divers

At the Summit of Mount Everest – the Highest Mountain on the planet, in 2004