Positive wellbeing for a rewarding seafaring career


(Indian Standard Time)

08:30 – 08:40
Welcome address

Johan Smith, Head of Wellness, Sailors’ Society

08:40 – 09:00
Inaugural address

Mrs. H.K. Joshi, Former Chairwoman, Shipping Corporation of India [SCI]

09:00 – 09:10
Have your say
- Interactive session

09:10 – 09:30
Trends shaping career opportunities for young shipping professionals

Captain Kuba Szymanski
Secretary General of the International Ship Managers' Association

09:30 – 09:40
Have your say
- Interactive session

09:40 – 10:05
Introduction to Sailors’ Society – Insights from our 2022 Wellness at Sea Cadet Report

Sara Baade, CEO, Sailors’ Society

10:05 – 10:25
Realities of life at sea and the importance of personal wellbeing
Stewart Bankier, Head of Fleet Personnel Development & Compliance and Volker Pusch, Head of Seabased Cadet Training and Development, Bernhard Schulte Ship Management

10:25 – 10:50
Voice of the cadet

Panel Discussion 1: Your questions about life at sea
A students’ perspective – the challenges and solutions
A Q&A with Steward Bankier

10:50 – 11:00
Have your say - Interactive session and lucky draw

11:00 – 11:30
Brunch break

11:30 – 11:50
P&I: There for you

Belinda Ward, Director (Claims), NorthStandard P&I and Ross Waddell, Claims Executive, NorthStandard P&I

11:50 – 12:10
The Realities of Cadets: An overview of the North Asian Shipping industry
Capt. Tushar Pradhan, General Secretary, Maritime Union of India

(Indian Standard Time)

12:10 – 12:20
Have your say - Interactive session

12:20 – 12:40
Psychological Safety: A critical element for seafarer's mental health and Wellness

Dr. Deepti Mankad Coordinator, Wellness at Sea Coordinator

12:50 – 13:00
Have your say - Interactive session


13:00 – 13:25
A students’ perspective – Diversity and woman in maritime: the challenges and solutions
Panel discussion by student representatives from five maritime schools Namrata Nadkarni, CEO, Intent Communications. Chair of the Fuels Working Group at the World Ports Climate Action Programme (WPCAP)

13:25 – 13:40
A company’s perspective – Building an inclusive and diverse workforce: The case of Seaspan

Capt. Manoj Gandhi, Country Head & Director Seaspan Crew Management India

13:40 – 13:50
A female perspective from a practising seafarer

Meghana Menon Trainee Marine Engineer, Seaspan

13:50 – 14:00
A message on Diversity from the IMO

Mariana Noceti, Women in Maritime Programme, IMO

14:00 – 14:15
Concluding remarks and evaluation

14:00 – 14:30
Break out


Our Conference Speakers

Mrs H.K. Joshi Former Chairwoman, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI)

Mrs H.K. Joshi has close to four decades of corporate experience and over seven years of Board level experience. She has several awards and accolades for her exemplary performance and contribution to the trade and industry.

In May 2022, she was recognized as ‘Woman of Exemplary Courage’ - recognized for her part in the historic moment when the MT Swarna Krishna became the first Indian ship with all women officers. The National Maritime Day Celebrations Committee also conferred an award for her role in the first cargo vessel that sailed for a record 26 voyages with only women officers on board.

Mrs H.K. Joshi joined SCI in February 2015 as Director (Finance) and Chief Financial Officer. In December 2019, she was appointed by the Government of India as the Chairperson & Managing Director. She held multiple additional Board level charges - Director (Personnel & Administration) in 2017-18, Director (Bulk Carrier & Tankers) in 2019 and CMD from September 2019. She was also the chairperson of two other companies and on the board of seven more while also being on various board committees.

A self-propeller and an agile and pragmatic leader with an eye for identifying talent and having conviction in her goals, she considers human resources as integral assets of an organization.

Captain  Kuba Szymanski Secretary General of the International Ship Managers' Association

Captain Kuba Szymanski has a well-deserved reputation for advocating for seafarers – often bringing his personal experience as a merchant navy officer into play. He started his sea career in 1985, graduating from the Maritime University of Szczecin with a master’s degree.

He began in the role of deck officer with Dorchester Maritime Limited Isle of Man, where he sailed gas/chemical/product tankers, reaching his first command as a Master in 1999. He was also a tutor at the International Business School, Isle of Man, UK, where he taught management of change, risk management, organisational waste, critical equipment and time and information management.

Through his role with InterManager, Captain Szymanski has participated in many industry-wide projects, He currently chairs the Human Element Industry Group (HEIG) Enclosed Space Committee. In 2011 he joined the TK Foundation, which supports non-profit maritime and youth programs, and he currently chairs its HR and Remuneration Committee, in 2018 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Solent Southampton University in recognition of his contribution to the maritime industry.

In his leisure time, Captain Szymanski is a keen yachtsman and races competitively around Europe, mostly double or single-handed.

Sara Baade CEO, Sailors’ Society

Sara joined Sailors’ Society as CEO in September 2020, leading the global maritime charity’s work reaching out to 200,000 seafarers, their families and communities in need every year.

Sailors’ Society’s pioneering mental health and wellbeing training support programme has benefitted more than 34,000 seafarers to date and its ground-breaking Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools’ Conferences are empowering cadets with awareness and skills that will serve them throughout their seafaring careers.

Sara is also chair of The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) and has extensive experience in leading an international welfare charity from her previous role as CEO of The Army Families Federation. Her career includes working as a senior civil servant for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, a directorship at the charity UK Skills and substantial experience in investment banking.

Sara lives in Berkshire in the UK with her 12-year-old twins.

Stewart Bankier Head of Fleet Personnel Development & Compliance, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement is a top-tier third-party ship manager. People are at the heart of all they do and this ensures they provide the best ship management experience through their staff’s expertise at sea and on shore.

“We proactively live a family culture as we are a family business.” Stewart Bankier is an experienced Head of People Development and Training, combining a high-ranking naval background with in-depth knowledge of maritime operations and a strong focus on optimising the ‘human element’ of maritime safety to underpin the embedding of a ‘Just’ safety culture.

As Head of Fleet Personnel Development, he advises on training and crewing policy, processes and technology for a diverse fleet of 640 vessels from small container ships to LNG carriers, driving strategy, policy, and vessel/personnel management processes for 10 frontline offices managing 23,000 seafarers worldwide.

Stewart harnesses the command experience he gained as Naval Military Officer to build and lead high-performing crews that demonstrate operational and technical excellence.

Johan Smith Head of Wellness, Sailors’ Society

Johan joined international maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society in 2014 to develop and lead its Wellness at Sea programme, a pioneering initiative which empowers seafarers to prepare and keep physically and mentally fit for life at sea.

The Wellness at Sea programme has since grown to become one of the leading wellness interventions for the shipping industry, benefitting thousands of seafarers every year and winning a Safety at Sea award for Best Crew Welfare Programme and a Seatrade Award for Investment in People.

Johan has worked with seafarers for many years, previously serving as a port chaplain for six years in Cape Town, South Africa. It was during this time that he became aware of the challenges many seafarers face as a result of life at sea and in 2011 started developing his work on a wellness programme to meet their needs. Johan studied theology and is also a qualified social worker.

Belinda Ward, Director (Claims), NorthStandard P&I

Image to come

Belinda joined North (now NorthStandard) in 1990 and after many years handling all types of P&I claims Belinda now heads up the Personal Injury claims team at North.

She sits on the IG sub-committees for the 'International Group Qualification', 'Occupational Diseases' and 'Amicus Briefs'. Belinda read Economics at Newcastle University and, whilst working, also completed a part-time law degree.

Ross Waddell, Claims Executive, NorthStandard P&I

Picture to come

Ross joined North (now NorthStandard) in 2020 as a Claims Executive within the Personal Injury team. He studied Scots and English Law at the University of Dundee graduating in 2014.

Ross qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 2017 after training with a national personal injury firm. Shortly after, Ross joined a leading international law firm and specialised in defending personal injury and property damage claims

Capt. Tushar Pradhan, General Secretary, Maritime Union of India

Being a fourth-generation Seafarer, Captain Tushar Pradhan has served in shipping companies like Scindia, Wilhelmsen Ship Management and Wallem.

He has been in command for the last 27 years, with a total of 45 years at sea.

​​​​​​Under his dynamic leadership, MUI is striving to vastly improve all existing facilities and support to seafarers. These include addressing grievances related to wages, abandonment and criminalization of seafarers in India and overseas, shore leave at Indian ports, incidents of hijacking, hostage taking, sign-off / sign-on, repatriation, convalescent homes, medical and education financial assistance, services provided by Women's Wing.

Captain Pradhan also represents the union on the advisory board of The Institute of Marine Engineers (India).

Dr. Deepti Mankad Coordinator, Wellness at Sea Coordinator

Dr Deepti Mankad is an excellent communicator and well-informed expert in her field of professional development. She is the founder of Mindspeak and a professional development trainer and consultant and the Regional Head [India] for Sailors’ Society for the Wellness at Sea programme for seafarers.

Belonging to a seafarer’s family, she has been proving maritime training, coaching and assessment for seafarers and their companies for over 12 years now, and conducting sessions on mental health and wellbeing empowering seafarers to handle emotional disturbances. She also conducts psychological first aid training for seafarers with the objective to help troubled seafarers onboard and provides counselling services for seafarers and their families.

Deepti has a doctorate in Multiple Intelligence and is a certified Maritime Crew Resource Management [MCRM] trainer and certified as a psychometric assessor by Thomas International Management Systems Ltd.

She has received various awards including the 2022 Maritime Wellness Coach & Trainer of the Year by International Brilliance Awards (IBA), Maritime Wellness Coach & Trainer of the Year by National Education Brilliance Awards (NEBA) 2022 and The Real Super Woman Award 2022 by Forever Star India.

Namrata Nadkarni, CEO, Intent Communications. Chair of the Fuels Working Group at the World Ports Climate Action Programme (WPCAP).

Namrata Nadkarni is the CEO and Founder of Intent Communications.

With nearly two decades of work in the maritime industry under her belt, Namrata has worked on brands including the monthly newsletter for the International Chamber of Shipping, Safety at Sea, Fairplay, The Marine Professional, Lloyd’s List, Seatrade magazine, Ports and Harbors, Marine Engineer’s Review and many more.

She is currently the Non-Executive Director of Shoreham Port and chairs the Alternative Fuels Working Group for the World Ports Climate Action Programme (WPCAP).

Capt. Manoj Gandhi, Country Head & Director Seaspan Crew Management India

Capt. Manoj Gandhi is the Director, Fleet Personnel at Seaspan Crew Management Ltd Vancouver and General Manager of Seaspan Crew Management India Pvt Ltd.  He is based in Mumbai and oversees the Fleet Personnel Operation of 128 Seaspan owned & managed vessels ranging from 2500 – 15000 TEU,s    

He is excited about the Seaspan 10 billion US dollar new building programme underway consisting of 70 container vessels ranging from 7000 TEUs – 24000 TEUs.  17 vessels have been delivered, and 53 vessels will be delivered by the end of 2024.  

Capt Manoj Gandhi's initial years were with the Shipping Corporation of India on the ex-Training Ship Rajendra, and later worked with Wallem Ship Management Ltd.

A Ship–Shore career span of 23 years from Master to Vice President, Fleet Personnel Operation, Wallem Crew Management India Pvt Ltd, he has been associated with Seaspan for the last 10 years.  

An avid reader with an interest in business financials. He loves to spend quality time with his family, friends & batchmates 

Meghana Menon is currently sailing as a Trainee Marine Engineer with Seaspan Ship Management.

Her motivation to go to sea came quite late when she had completed a degree and was already doing a corporate job. Both her parents were engineers and it invoked in her a curiosity in her to understand details of how things around her worked.

It is this curiosity that led her to pursue mechanical engineering and fast forward to today - to understand how intricate machinery and complex systems work in unison to run ships.

She says; “Although I have just started my career as a seafarer, my experience so far has been everything that I expected it to be and more. I really enjoy my job, big or small and even though I just signed off, I am eager and excited to join my next vessel and get back to work.

Despite having a busy schedule and hectic work routines, there’s something about the carefree blue ocean and the endless warm horizon that offers you peace after a tiring day of work, which is quite addictive.”

Mariana Noceti, Women in Maritime Programme, IMO

Mariana Noceti has almost ten years of experience in the International Maritime Organization, having worked in the Goal Based-Standards programme of the Maritime Safety Division and in the Office of the Legal Affairs and External Relations Division Director, before moving to the Technical Cooperation Division, where she coordinates the Organization’s gender and capacity-building programme, Women in Maritime, with a focus on training, visibility, and recognition.

She is also one of IMO’s United Nations Focal Points for Women and has been a part of the IMO Gender Equality and Diversity Group, which developed the Secretariat Gender Equality Strategy, for the last three years.

Conference sponsors

Join us on social