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September 30, 2023

A deep dive into Maritime Studies with Deepam Rastogi

Maritime studies is mainly a less explored educational genre. To know more about the same, Littoral Communications reached out to Mr. Deepam Rastogi, the entrepreneur, managing director, and founder of CMG Maritime Academy.

The objective of the CMG Maritime Academy is to provide quality education in a cost-effective program with the motive to train all rank candidates to become worthy and committed officers on board. This has been the main drive behind the institute’s success.

When asked why he chose to start a maritime academy, Deepam told Littoral Communications that he believes that “any new beginning needs a purpose and vision more than anything else”. 

He added, “What better vision and purpose can there be than to create a platform where people can collaborate and learn to resurrect themselves and their respective careers through the biggest tool available at hand, education. I was reorienting something which I wanted to start afresh. “

He told us that there were two things that mainly inspired him to start an Academy like CMG. Number one was his never ending desire to achieve parallels of Reform, Reputation, and Recognition together. Number two was to create a platform and space where services are not only meant for business growth or revenue generation, instead, there was room for performance enhancement, knowledge orientation and skill development as well.

When inquired about the need to join the best maritime academy, Mr. Rastogi said, “The academy is important to orient one’s career through a more channelized and focused method in any Industry. People can study anywhere, but joining an academy serves the purpose, which is more focused and channelized for the growth orientation. ” 

He further added, “With my experience as an educator over a decade now, I have observed that for the past many years, due to increased competition, consistent scarcity of jobs, or many other factors, the purpose of education somewhere down the line has constantly narrowed down. In fact, today it has only become a limited tool of job eligibility and applicability. But, in my opinion, candidates, educators, and industry leaders must realize that education was and will always be far more important than a job eligibility criteria. Learning is a tool for survivability, performance standards, skill development, and wisdom, both personally and professionally. And all these factors do count, not only in an individual’s growth but also in the growth of an entire industry at large. Hence, joining a more visionary and purpose-driven academy during a journey of acquiring knowledge is of utmost importance. “

He briefed on how the maritime industry is still not a mainstream career choice for many and said that the maritime industry is majorly isolated and is therefore responsible for sidelining itself. 

The industry fails to represent itself as a community at large and, somewhere down the line, creates a lack of awareness and altogether drives away the interest of young people in being aspiring mariners.

 He further explained, “Now you might have heard some or the other time about some of the most prominent and recognized fields like doctor’s CA’s, Engineer’s etc. going on strikes or protests for some or the other reasons or issues here and there. But have you ever heard of a protest or a strike among the Maritime Industry? Probably rare, might be never.” He continued, “A mariner’s strike can practically bring down multiple countries’ economies even with a single non-working day since it is a global industry that handles almost 90% of all trade in the world. So somewhere down the line, it is a non-stop working industry. When you are on the job, there are no weekends, no festivities. So it’s difficult, but at the same time pleasantly challenging and full of pride and relevance.” He alased, “Unfortunately, we as an industry have failed to present this collective pride and honor to our society as we are hardly part of it once we are out at sea. So it is all the more important for those in the industry working as shore personnel’s’ to take care of creating this social ecological awareness with all the inspiring and bright aspects of this field in front of the general public.”

He added, “Also, I feel the industry has turned somewhat monotonous in its mindset over the years in terms of its career path and job structure. That is one more reason why limited aspects are presented in the market and that makes it all the more difficult for any youngster to take this as a mainstream career. “

Mr. Deepam opened up about the challenges in the maritime industry and said, “I feel there are three main ones. First and foremost, it is among the candidates themselves who fail to gauge the fact that they are only running after rank certification, which I grieved about in my last question as well. That will never be sufficient without focusing on skill development, knowledge orientation, and performance. That is a definite problem. Secondly, given the contractual nature of jobs in our industry, which most of the industry is based on, there are hardly any profiles or services or companies available giving round the year wages. There are, but obviously very few. This forces the candidate to prefer his financial needs over any career growth graph whenever required or possible. What this problem does is, somewhere down the line, it leaves the candidate in isolation when it comes to studies or any educational requirements for his growth building.”

He further said “ The third challenge is that there is a lack of liability to assist candidates as per their flexibility, availability, or somewhere down the line, an unfortunate failure by any institution,” he concluded.

He further explained how CMG Maritime Academy overcomes these challenges. He mentioned, “What we do is we focus on collaboration of subjective and practical knowledge from day one, when a candidate joins any batch to keep his interest going and enhancing his learning and performance, along with his immediate requirement of clearing his competency exam, that is the first thing that we do. Then we also consistently push them on in terms of exploring their likability and areas of interest by various Q and A sessions and also by our own experience of observatory patterns that we have during the sessions. And then we guide them accordingly to evolve and inculcate the best in those areas whereby they may opt for other career graphs available in the industry after they have cleared their current model. And in this manner, we are obviously enhancing their skills in accordance with their areas of interest and we are also helping them with consistent guidance on the same wherever they might need it even after they have taken an exit from the academy. They are free to call us, they’re free to connect with us. And there are a lot of people doing it for many years and they’re very happy about it.” 

He added,“ And also we have introduced validity periods on each of our courses to sustain and support the contractual nature of the job which I quoted in one of my challenges as well. So somewhere down the line using this facility a candidate may be flexible enough to decide in their tough times on how to plan their course, how to plan the exam schedule in accordance to their job eligibility or job availability, or an unfortunate financial crisis and career orientation all together. So it is not like one time assistance, instead, a long term assurance of assistance in terms of the availability period that is given to you at the time of admission itself, and you can plan yourself in accordance to your availability on shore and your job and your exam altogether, and then go ahead with your career graph with sense of security and consistent guidance.”

“Till date, I am very happy to say that in this kind of a module we have taught more than 2500 competent students under our able guidance. Moreover, we are also coming out with multiple projects in the field of maritime education in the next six months, which will be diversified from the entry level of the industry to the value addition courses during your journey into this field.”

“What I feel is that the methods that we follow, the dedication and commitment, my entire team, not only me, my entire team, efficient team that brings on the table of work every day in itself is a motivation for all our candidates as it inspires them to keep on the task at hand which is learning and orienting themselves as worthy and performing officers and not only a certain rank holder. That is the first thing that serves as the source of motivation. And secondly, the drive for success, which we inculcate in all our students, which is beyond just clearing an exam, rather it is to go out there in the industry and through their shear caliber, by their respective skill set and knowledge, and performance, that is how we shape their future,” he added.

He concluded by referring to the young generation that aspires to join the maritime industry, “I will definitely say only one thing  – Enter with a zeal to create an impact. And as in, when you desire to leave, do it with some legacy behind you. And if you do that, your journey will be worthwhile.


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