CIIM asks Captain VS Parani – who joined the CIIM MBA in 2013 on his experience during the programme.
Captain VS Parani, MBA, LLM, FNI, FICS, CMarTech-IMarEST is an executive at a multinational shipping company in Limassol and is also the author of the Golden Stripes-Leadership on the High Seas, the world’s first book on leadership in the shipping industry. In his spare time, he writes blogs on maritime leadership at

Q: Why did you choose to do a CIIM MBA?

VSP: Two reasons – One, I was transferred to another department within my organization – and it was a role which required different skill-sets. The CIIM MBA offered the education needed to succeed in that role. Secondly, I was writing a book on leadership in the shipping industry and I wanted to back my experience with academic research. The international faculty at CIIM were the perfect resource I needed.

Now I can say that I made a great choice and succeeded in both my objectives, thanks to the CIIM MBA.

Q: What are the strong points of a CIIM education?

VSP: The CIIM education is well rounded; students benefit from a mixture of solid academic study, cutting-edge insights and practical tools. The projects helped us apply all that we had learnt in the MBA program to real-life; functional skills such as economics, digital-marketing, statistics, accounting, and finance; people skills such as communication and leadership skills, and of course market research and strategic thinking.

We learnt how a small group of highly motivated people can make a difference for a better world. The CIIM experience gave us confidence to move to the next level in our career, or start a new business.

Q: How has CIIM helped you?

VSP: The CIIM MBA has helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. My newly acquired skills at work were recognized and I received a promotion. Later, my CIIM MBA helped me stand-out among other candidates when I was interviewing for another career move.

The knowledge I received during the course helped me write my book, Golden Stripes – Leadership on the High Seas – and the effort has received world-wide acclaim.

I continue to be friends with my fellow-students from CIIM and we have become business partners for our personal projects. CIIM has helped me take my career and life to another level– and I’m grateful for that.

Q: Would you recommend CIIM?

VSP: Absolutely. In fact, my wife also completed her MSc in Business Management (MBM) at CIIM soon after I completed my own MBA classes. After my recommendation, many of my colleagues later started their classes at CIIM. It is the gold standard for management education, not only in Cyprus but in the entire region.

Education is the passport for the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who received it today. A CIIM Education is the visa on a passport for an even golden future!

Q: Tell us a little bit about your book Golden Stripes. Who is it for?

VSP: Golden Stripes- Leadership on the High Seas is a book on practical leadership. Although it is written based on my twenty-five years of experience in the shipping industry – the lessons, strategies and tools can be applied by anyone who wishes to lead anything, anywhere. It is full of stories and diagrams so you won’t feel bored reading it.

Q: Do you believe leaders are born or are they made?

VSP: I believe everyone can, and should be a leader. Take myself for example – at school, I intentionally stayed away from any school or even a class-leader position. But when I started working on ships, my duties required me to lead others. At first it was one person, then three, then ten. Eventually as a captain, I was responsible for the ship and its cargo worth several million euros, and approximately twenty lives. Later, as a corporate executive, I was responsible for over a hundred ships and over eight thousand seafarers.

Though initially in life, I was reluctant to take on leadership roles, in time, I began to appreciate the opportunity. If I could keep my ship safe and my team successful and happy, I knew I was leading well. I understood from my own career that leaders can be made, and that leadership is a skill that can be learnt and improved with practice.

This is one of the reasons I wrote Golden Stripes – it is an easy-to-read book assisting professionals gain a better understanding of leadership and take their career onto the next level.

Golden Stripes – Leadership on the High Seas, Whittles Publishing, ISBN: 978-184995-314-6, published June 2017, is available at most online retailers and book stores.