An avid sailor and successful racing car driver, it’s clear that Advait Deodhar enjoys life in the fast lane. Hailing from a family of ship captains, Advait grew up on the sea, competing in various events in India and discovering the lesser-known anchorages of the country he calls home.
Described by his colleagues as a ‘walking talking yachting Wikipedia’, Advait, who is fluent in both Italian and English, knows the Mediterranean inside out, and has a passion for creating eclectic itineraries that take in the best of what the region has to offer. Heading to the Caribbean for the winter? He’ll have you covered too thanks to his impressive knowledge of the most beautiful beaches, best restaurants and on-land activities for those with a verve for adventure.
From his take on the Indian superyacht market to his favourite yachts, cruising grounds and anchorages, Advait talks OnboardOnline through his life and career as a TJB superyacht broker.
Tell us about your career as a racing driver, how did that come about?
I always wanted to race growing up, but I never really chased it. It was in 2012, right after graduation, that I decided to take the leap of faith! I still compete today and am currently in the European Nascar Championship. Luckily it’s only a six weekend Championship with two rounds in the peak of the summer season so I manage to balance racing and the job. I also work at race weekends, so you will catch me on my laptop in the team truck when I’m not driving!
You come from a family of ship captains – did this inspire your transition into yachting?
Although I come from a family of ship captains, I don’t think it inspired me to transition into yachting. I personally never wanted to go out to sea. My transition into yachting came about more from my motorsport background and my degree as I graduated as an automobile designer. In my second year of university, I also had a course on yacht design.
When did you become a broker and how did it come about?
I joined the TJB Super Yachts team at the end of 2016. I happened to meet another broker at an event in London and we got talking. With my motorsport background and Indian nationality, I felt I could bring a lot to the table. It took a lot of convincing and training, but here we are!
Have you done much sailing around India?
Not on a ship, but on sail boats. I’ve been an avid sailor from a very young age and competed around India at various events. I highly recommend the Lakshadweep islands!
What are your favourite cruising grounds further afield?
Croatia and the Ionian Islands in Greece are the ideal yacht charter destinations in the Med. Great weather most of the time and lots of private anchorages.
Tell us about the state of the superyacht market in India and what trends you are seeing...
The superyacht market in India is still at its early stages. The interest is growing, but there’s still a very long way to go. The taxes are extremely high for imports so we see a very small number of yachts in India, and the majority of them in the sub 20m range. Interest for cruising other locations outside the country is growing, but a lot of people are still generally unaware of the idea of a yacht charter.
What’s more, India lacks the infrastructure for marinas and doesn’t have clear water for it to be an appealing superyacht destination. However the Lakshadweep Islands off the south west coast and Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal are beautiful.
If you were booking a charter this winter, where would you go and why?
For yachts from 20-45m I’d opt for the Bahamas without a doubt. It has crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and some fantastic anchorage spots close to shore. For larger yachts over 45m I’d say the Caribbean as the water is a lot deeper and the swell quite a bit higher. There are some incredible yachts available this winter in both locations.
What’s your favourite yacht and why?
That’s a very difficult question, but I’m going to have to say Lunasea (ex-Hasna) built by Feadship. The yacht has a stunning interior and the designers have really utilised the space well. The exterior decks offer something unique on each level too, and the stand-out features are the fold out beach club, gym on the lower deck, and an eight metre infinity pool on the main deck. The ultimate charter yacht!
What do you love most about working at TJB Super Yachts?
We’re a young and energetic team. Everyone that works at TJB truly loves their jobs and are very passionate about the yachting industry.
What’s the most challenging thing about the job of a charter broker?
Planning this elaborate charter and not going on it! Jokes aside, I think we are all very fortunate to have a relatively straight forward job, apart from the obvious – breakdowns, financial issues, VAT complications with sales and charter etc.
Personally, the most challenging thing about the job for me is dealing with clients who are ‘deal hunting’ and trying to put brokers against each other to try and cut a deal. That’s against the ethos of this industry but unfortunately we see it happen time and time again. I’m very much against this.
What changes do you foresee in the yachting industry over the next 10 years?
I think the yachting industry at this present moment is in unchartered territory. Sales and charter are at an all-time high and the industry is booming like never before. It is very cyclical though, so the next 10 years will be very dependent on what happens in the next 24 to 36 months. One thing that’s for sure though is that the yachts will get larger, and the propulsion technology more efficient.
Where’s next on your personal bucket list?
I’d love to build a custom 60-100m superyacht with a client.
Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
I want to be known as one of the top brokers in the industry, and known for my expertise in this field. I want to continue to build on the relationships I currently have with my long-term clients and with industry colleagues too.