Team OTA Survival School comprises ardent travellers and survivalists. They enjoy travel and have spent a lifetime living in adverse conditions. They enjoy living off the land and make the best possible use of the environment and conditions they find themselves in. Members of team comprise from the Armed Forces primarily since they are best prepared and equipped to live in harsh conditions, without any basic amenities. Needless to say, this combined knowledge provides for the finest bunch of individuals to train people in the skills required for self-reliance.
Chandan Lahiri, Ideator, Founder and Course Director
From the advertising industry where he worked for almost two decades, Chandan has been adventuring and exploring for more than fifteen years. He holds two world records in endurance motorcycling riding around the Himalayas and another record in the survival space. He has been a passionate outdoorsman from a very young age, accompanying his father on treks through leech infested jungles of the North East. His father, Lt Gen MK 'Mike' Lahiri, PVSM was India’s first Green Beret and is credited with starting the Commando Wing for the Indian Army in the mid-1960s after being trained in the United States. He was also a jungle warfare specialist. Chandan inherited his father’s genes for sports, adventure and survival. Outside of the Indian Armed Forces, there are probably very few people who have the depth and extent of knowledge that Chandan has about survival and self-reliance.
Boss Man Sam, Course Coordinator
Sam is trained in advertising and communications and after having passed out of the National Institute of Design in Baroda and then having studied on scholarship at the Strasbourg Institute in France he was one of the youngest Creative Directors in JWT. However, his passion lies in the outdoors and he is a sky diver, scuba diver, high altitude trekker, skier and all things adventure. He bungee jumped in New Zealand and reef dived in Australia. He is also an ardent traveller and has travelled almost all over Asia, Europe and North America
Col Ashok Ghoshal (Retd), Member, Advisory Board
Col Ghoshal is a decorated army officer with an excellent track record, graduated from Christ College Bangalore. In uniform he served both in peace and in insurgency affected areas, across plains, mountains, jungles, deserts and waterborne areas. His expertise lay in special operations, counter terrorism, interrogation, counterinsurgency, digital imagery interpretation, electronic surveillance, first-aid, fire fighting and VVIP protection. In college he captained his college cricket team and was selected for Mysore State Hockey coaching camp. He excelled in sports while serving in the army. He has a flair for dramatics, music and has organised fashion shows in the army. In 2003 he participated in AXN Extreme Dhamaka and was rewarded for his high wire act. He has saved four people from drowning and saved a running train from a major fire disaster.
Col Sudeep Bhattacharjee (Retd), Member, Advisory Board
Col Bhattacharjee graduated from the 69th Course NDA in Dec 1985 and a year later was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery on 20 Dec 1986. He joined Army Aviation Corps in Dec 1992 after a gruelling 18 months training with the Indian Air Force. He then graduated from the prestigious Defense Services Staff College in 1999. He spent three months in the Kargil Operations s as a Battery Commander cum Forward Observation Officer. After completing a deputation with Pawan Hans Ltd for three years, he retired in Sep 2010 to fly as a commercial civilian helicopter pilot with the same company.