Cdr. Abhishek Kankan


Cdr Abhishek Kankan, a gallantry award winner, is an alumni of IIM Indore; DSSC, Wellington; Naval College of Engineering and RIMC, Dehradun. He is a mechanical engineer with Masters in Defence & Strategy and MDBA. Commander Abhishek Kankan has four years’ work experience in the Corporate and prior to that, 21 years of unique dynamic career in the Indian Navy. He has broad exposure and myriad experience ranging from depths below oceans to the highest point on earth; from high technological projects of national importance to war-zone. In pursuit of his passion for extreme challenges, Cdr Abhishek has operated as a Marine Commando in Kashmir Valley in Anti- terrorist operations, Submariner, SCUBA diver, paratrooper and has done the Kailash Manasarover Yatra. To top it, he summited Mt Everest in 2004 creating a number of world records. He also wears ‘Hats’ of managing projects of national importance – Submarine construction, Strategic vessel construction; a Tunnelling expert; Corporate trainer and Motivational speaker.

Cdr Abhishek was awarded NaoSena Medal (Gallantry) by then President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in 2005. He is also recipient of the Chief of Naval Staff & Commander in chief Commendations on three occasions for Gallantry, leadership and innovations. Executed the record creating longest single continuous twin drive by micro-tunnel (670 metres, 22 metres below ground 1800 metres ID) in the country which featured in ‘No-Dig India’ Magazine April-May 2017 edition. Currently he is working in L&T Construction, on a project to get drinking water to Mumbai as Head Tunnelling, which involves tunnels under the mountains and sea.

Has been a TED x Speaker at IIT Ahemdabad and VJTI, Mumbai. Conducted Corporate training workshops, leadership & team building modules, outbound programmes, Motivational talks, etc at BHEL, SBI GIC, Goldman Sachs, RIL, Sandoz, Mother Dairy, SOPRA, TECHNIP, PMI, DSSC(Wellington),IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, SPJIMR, NMIMS, VJTI, NACEN, MET(Mumbai), DPS Meerut, Somaiya School, CP Goenka School.


  • NAOSENA MEDAL (Gallantry) in Jan 05 by President of India for Mt Everest climb
  • The Chief of Naval Staff ( CNS) Commendation in 1998 for Special Ops
  • 2nd time the CNS Commendation in 2001, for innovation and gallant action onboard Submarine.
  • ‘On the spot’ Commendation by FOC-in-C, ENC on 31 Jul 2009 for pioneering & innovative repairs by diving under submarine.
  • 1st in the rigorous elite MARCOS course in 1995. Only 4 out of 25 qualified
  • ‘Best trainee’ in Basic Mountaineering Course at HMI (Darjeeling) in Mar 2003
  • Sports – Best Boxer at RIMC and Naval Academy. Cadets Cross country champion in 1989 & 1990 , Marathoner, Karate champion.

Articles Published & Affiliations:

  • Acknowledged as one of the ‘ACHIEVERS’ in INS Shivaji official website
  • Articles published in ‘Veerkumars of Rajwada’ magazine Mar 2014; Quarter Deck 2001 titled ‘Hearts of Oak – Remembering a Marine Commando’; Periscope magazine Dec 09 on Kailash Manasarover Yatra 2009;Interviews published in METROPLUS of ‘The Hindu’ Visakhapatnam edition on 29 Aug 2009; in Pioneer newspaper and in-flight magazine ‘Darpan’ in Oct 2004
  • Member of Institute of Marine Engineers, Project Management Institute, Mumbai Chapter; PADI (USA) Divers

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