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Experience Underwater Extravaganza with West Coast Adventures

The SCUBA diving industry is still in a nascent stage in India, but I am happy to say that West Coast Adventures customer base is growing at 40% YoY.

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West Coast Adventures is a modern scuba diving startup delivering exciting scuba diving experiences to enthusiasts across the country. In a country where the scuba diving market is set to grow at a figure of 40% YoY, West Coast Adventures offers some of the best under-water experiences that are led by a group of skilled and passionate instructors.

With centres across Murdeshwar, Goa and Mumbai, West Coast Adventures’ centres have instructors that are certified by PADI & SSI (which are the world leaders in Scuba Diving Education & Certification for instructors and dive centres), who ensure that every diving experience is safe and secure.

Sujata Sangwan of BW Businessworld interacts with Pawan Shourie, Founder and CEO, West Coast Adventures and spoke to him.

Excerpts:

Are you working on this full-time?

Yes, this is my full time vocation.

What kind of person makes a successful entrepreneur?

Success means different things to different people. I believe a successful entrepreneur is someone who is focused on what their customers want, enjoy what they do and have strong work ethics. 

One has to be focused, self-motivated and persistent. Business achievements in the form of personal satisfaction, financial gain, stability and enjoyment is the sum of what one puts into their business.

How will you manage logistics without getting overwhelmed?

We treat each of our dive centres as self-contained independent business units. Even though, as West Coast Adventures we have a common vision & objective, the route taken to achieve that objective may differ from centre to centre depending on external influencing factors. I have centre managers or business heads for each location, who are extremely competent & have an in-depth understanding of all nuances of operations required for the centres. Therefore, the question of being overwhelmed by the logistical aspect of the business does not arise.

How much traction do you have?

The SCUBA diving industry is still in a nascent stage in India, but I am happy to say that West Coast Adventures customer base is growing at 40% YoY.

Are you B2B, B2C or a mix? What gap are you filling in the market today?

We are a service provider, providing differentiated experiences to adventure sports enthusiasts and people who are looking to do something unique. Our objective is to introduce the maximum number of people to the wonders of the underwater world & this is reiterated in our tag line Same Planet…Different World.

We strive to make SCUBA diving accessible to everyone who wants to give it a go.

How do you differentiate from your competitor?

We try and differentiate ourselves based on two key factors, the Quality & Safety of our experiences and Services offered. 

We are Passionate, Competent, Committed, Customer centric and Respect Nature. My team is chosen on the basis of these values and our instructors are amongst the best in the country today. I ensure each of my instructors believe in the company’s values as they are the face of the organisation, our greatest strength and our biggest differentiator.

We offer Quality & Safe experiences and go beyond traditional services offered by others. We have catered to special requests such as wedding proposals underwater, and have also assisted in creating underwater world records.

How complete is your team?

As mentioned earlier each dive centre operates as an independent unit and each centre has its own unique set of requirements. We consider the team for a particular dive centre complete when all manpower numbers are met. As of now all our centres have complete teams except the upcoming one near Manipal, which is work in progress as it will open by mid-October.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

Before embarking on the West Coast Adventures journey, I founded and ran 2 successful businesses, one in the space of experiential marketing and the other a design house. An engineer by education, I have always been an adventure enthusiast. From para gliding to sailing boats to trekking to snorkeling to diving, I enjoy the outdoors and the feeling of being one with nature.

Marrying the adventure freak in me to the business side was the perfect recipe to make me a leader who not only loves what he is doing, but also has a grasp on the pulse of how to make it succeed. I love what I do and am told my enthusiasm is infectious, as the team is very passionate too. 

What has journey been so far?

We set up our first dive operation in Murdeshwar in 2013 and another the following year in Goa. We have inland centres & affiliations in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. We are opening a dive centre in Malpe, near Manipal next month and are in the process of identifying other geographies for growth.  

Tell us more about West Coast and what would you advice newer millennials today who are trying to start up innovative business ideas.

At West Coast, we pride ourselves in our commitment to the guest’s safety and providing them with a great dive experience. We offer Discover Dives, inland diving, PADI & SSI certified courses & Fun dives, all under the guidance of PADI & SSI certified professional instructors. This allows our guests to have fun & create unforgettable experiences in a safe environment.

We maintain safety & first aid equipment at our dive centres and all our instructors and dive masters are Emergency First Responders, who are also trained in first aid procedures.

My advice to new entrepreneurs – Live your dream, love what you want to do & believe in yourself. It is never too late to follow your vocation & live life like a vacation.  


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