Captain Mohit Sabharwal: Discovering New Career Goals Through the Executive MBA

Born and raised in Dehradun, a charming town near the Himalayan foothills, Mohit Sabharwal (Executive MBA – Class of 2019) had a drive to excel right from his childhood. He was ranked #2 across Dehradun for his Mathematics Class 12 ISC Board paper, and after being selected by a shipping company, was ranked #1 in his pre-sea training institute. Soon after his shore training, Mohit started his career and sailed onboard Oil Tankers. Considering his track record, it came as no surprise to anyone when he went from the role of a Deck Cadet (Trainee) to becoming the youngest Captain on a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) in just over a decade.


“I consider myself an aspiring candidate who is always hungry for knowledge, growth, learning, new challenges, and opportunities,” Mohit shares. “When I reached the Captain rank, the question which plagued my mind was ‘What next?’ When I realised there was no further rank for me aboard the ship, I decided to take the most logical decision that I could think of at that time. I quit sailing.”

“In 2015, I decided to change my career track from offshore to onshore and joined Reliance Industries as a Port Captain and a Marine Pilot. After pursuing this role for a very short time, I got a much more challenging opportunity with Maersk Tankers as a Voyage Manager, and I was excited to take that up.”

It was this same hunger for knowledge that made Mohit join the Executive MBA program at SP Jain in November 2017. “Although changing my career track was a really difficult choice, I was quite happy with the decision once I started working in my new role. The only thought which kept bothering me though, was that I still didn’t understand how other fields worked. It was very clear to me that if I wanted to excel in life and expand my horizon, I needed to invest in my personal growth through a Master’s program that would give me global exposure. This is when SP Jain’s Executive MBA came into the picture.”

Going back to school after spending over a decade in the corporate world obviously comes with a lot of struggle. For Mohit, the struggles started when he realised that he no longer had the weekends to himself. How, then, did he manage to complete the program successfully? “My biggest support system throughout the program was my wife, who selflessly helped me so that I could focus exclusively on my studies. She happily took care of our kids single-handedly, and I am forever indebted to her for that.”


“The funny part though, was that just after a month of joining the program, I actually started looking forward to the weekends so I could meet my batchmates and learn about the various industries and cultures,” he continues. “The 18 months at SP Jain were so much fun! I got to interact with some of the world’s top industry leaders and participated in highly stimulating discussions and projects. Some of my favourite learning experiences during the program were the Global Immersion Projects, Business Simulations, and the Problems at Work (PAW) sessions, where you could bring your real-life work problems to class and find a solution for it with the help of your peers. How exciting is that?”

Soon after his graduation from the SP Jain EMBA with two Dean’s List medals and a Global Citizen Award, Mohit got the opportunity to work with CHORD X, a new venture incubated by the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) and a shipping giant in the tanker industry. “After being a Captain of a ship for so many years, what attracted me the most to my current role was the chance to completely transform the Maritime industry in the coming years. After serving for almost two decades, I wanted to contribute to the industry in the most innovative way, which could help change the face of the shipping business. In my current role, I work closely with a talented and diverse group of engineers, product managers, and industry leaders. By combining complex data mining processes, scientific data analytics approach and our technical maritime expertise into value-adding and cost-reducing practices, we hope to cause the next wave of cost-effective ship management,” Mohit comments.

Given a chance, what would Mohit have done differently in his career? “To be honest, I’m mostly satisfied with my career path so far. I’ve been able to achieve whatever I set my mind to, and I’m grateful for that. The only part which I regret slightly is not taking up my Executive MBA journey sooner. I believe I could’ve benefitted a lot from this even at an earlier stage of my career, and I shouldn’t have waited this long to take up this exciting journey and give a whole different spin to my professional life,” he concludes.

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