The Lacadives team is a diverse group with two things in common: we love to dive and we love the sea. And we do everything we can to share the magic of this liquid world.
Rahul Mitra, Dive school Manager and Dive Instructor (PADI MSDT #366882)
From the moment he surfaced from his first dive as an Advanced Open Water diver with Lacadives, Rahul was sold. That was 2013. He fell in love with the ocean and its inhabitants – no surprise since adventure and nature defined Rahul’s childhood. Rahul joined the marketing team in 2014, and is now Lacadives' Head Instructor and Dive Center Manager in Chidiyatapu. In addition to holding down the fort, Rahul is a PADI MSDT (Master SCUBA Diver Trainer) who teaches a number of specialties - Deep, Wreck, Night, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Project AWARE Shark Conservation and Drift.
Prudhvi 'GAli' Choudary, Dive master
Gali is an ambivert on the move, and is inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road and his 'crazy buddies'. Gali loves the outdoors - he has followed and monitored herds of wild cattle (Gaur) in the Nilgiris as part of a research program, and was an educator at the Nilgiri Natural History Society. He believes his fear of water was a powerful asset in getting him to dive. Prudhvi "didn't know how to swim even a little bit", and spent a couple of months in a pool under the tutelage of good friends. And then, he moved to Komodo National Park where he was baptized by the currents, the 20-foot mantas, and the tiny sea slugs that make the ocean such a magical place. Over 150 dives later, and ever the educator, Prudhvi is a Dive Master who loves to teach his clients about marine life, SCUBA diving, and the natural world.
From right bottom to left bottom: Rajesh, Thagay, Hemron, Bo are the hardworking staff who keep our dive center running. Thagay has now moved to our dive center at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, where he works as a Dive Master. We also have Ashe who is a little bit camera shy. They are up before dawn to make sure that the boats and food are prepared for the day. Ashe, Bo and Hemron are all from Mayabunder in North Andamans, and are incredibly agile captains and swimmers. Ashe is our most senior captain. Rajesh, a native of Chidiyatapu, cooks up a storm every day to keep our hungry team and divers sated. Typically shy, Rajesh lets his cooking speak for itself - particularly his knack for figuring out recipes on the fly!
Two Kitties and a dog
Two tabbies, Banshee (the ginger) and Haze (grey) and a dog (Padi, no prizes for guessing why) punctuate our existence in Chidiyatapu with some much-needed cuddles, hilarity and naps (usually in inconvenient spots, like our closets or laptops). Haze and Padi occasionally frolic in the surf under a watchful eye, while Banshee prefers eating and sitting on you, if you'll let him.
Sanjana Kapoor, Dive instructor (PADI MSDT #365154) and Dive center Manager
After finishing her undergraduate education, Sanjana became a Divemaster. Now a MSDT and having spent nearly 4 years in the Andamans, she is still as excited about getting into the water as she was on her first dive. She has returned to Mumbai, but not wanting to disconnect from diving, she joined Lacadives to manage their sales and conduct pool training over weekends. We think she uses only one lung (or perhaps half a lung) to breathe because she always comes up with more than half a tank no matter how deep or how long the dive goes. If you ever run low on air, you know who to look for! Shortly after joining the Mumbai team, Sanjana re-located to Havelock Island to manage the dive center at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans.
Saw Thagay, Dive Master
Quiet, fastidious Thagay has been a fixture at our dive centers. He joined us in Chidyatapu initially to captain our dive boat, the MV Wahoo, and eventually worked his way up to a PADI Dive Master in 2019. He is currently at our dive center at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, assisting on dives and leading guests on fun dives.
Avanti Maluste, CEO
Avanti learned to dive with Lacadives in 2009 in Kadmat, and never looked back. After a career in management consulting, and a fateful trip to Komodo, she joined the Lacadives team as CEO in late 2016. She is a PADI Rescue Diver, passionate about marine biology and conservation, and has been known to spend 90% of her vacation days underwater. At Lacadives, she oversees the firm's administrative functions, sales team, and kick started its travel vertical. Working at Lacadives has turned her into an Instagram addict (yes, the posts are hers - feedback is welcome), and she is the team's resident cat lady.
Harshil Vaidya, Sales and marketing associate
Harshil studied journalism and has a keen interest in making and editing films. In 2011, he volunteered with the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) in Agumbe, Karnataka, where he picked up a mask and snorkel for the first time, and snorkelled in the paddy fields. That’s when he knew he needed to be involved with life underwater. Harshil joined our team to manage digital content, and will train to be a PADI Dive Master
Prashant Desai, Office assistant
Prashant has been with Lacadives since 2009, making him the team's longest-standing member, other than Sumer and Prahlad. He holds the Mumbai office together - with coffee, bank runs, deliveries, Lacadives lore, equipment maintenance and absurd ideas about food. Prashant is a PADI Advanced Diver and Emergency First Responder, and is often seen at the pool side on weekends managing our confined water sessions.
Yes, the Mumbai team has a dog - Kanchi is a Himalayan Bhutia, a sheepdog of the region. She is the in-house therapist, is largely nocturnal and her sweet temper will steal both your heart and your chicken, if that's what's for lunch.