Dhruva Navin Chander is the founder/CEO of SailAway. He is from San Jose, California, and he is 16 years old. SailAway aims to teach people how to sail without them having to spend a lot of money. Dhruva started this organization because he wanted to make sailing more accessible due to its high costs. This idea started after he took his friends out on a sailboat for the first time. If you are interested in learning more, check out the About Us section on the SailAway Website.
Question 1: Why is sailing important to you?
I started sailing when I was 14 years old. When I first stepped onto the boat and felt the wind rushing against my face, I knew that I had to pursue sailing as a hobby. As I slowly learned methods to control the boat, I started to learn how hard it was to perform complex maneuvers, and that raised my respect for professionals that did this as their full-time job. Through these experiences, I started to develop the urge to show the world what sailing was. Until today, that has been my mission, and that is why sailing is important for me.
Question 2: How do you provide sailing equipment for free?
I cover the costs for a boat rental whenever a client wants to learn how to sail or wants to experience sailing for the first time.
I understand that some people do not have the resources to experience sailing, which is why I decided to provide it for free.
Question 3: How do you help others get their sailing license? What does that process look like?
I use the “Little Red Book” to go over all the requirements that are there. Once that is done, they can go take their test with a certified instructor! Although the road to a sailing license is long and hard, it pays off in the end.
Question 4: What is the best part about being an entrepreneur?
The best part about being an entrepreneur is having a way to balance my effort in Sailaway and my other interests such as lacrosse. I also have the freedom to schedule my own hours which I am available.
Question 5: Do you have any upcoming plans for SailAway? How do you plan to grow your organization?
In my mind, SailAway is a very small organization. I consider it a baby amongst everything else. I hope to attract other people to have their sailing license to come and help me teach, or show people the beauty of sailing. I also have plans to get my own boat and use that instead of renting out a boat each time, which would reduce the costs that I have to cover
Question 6: Outside of Sail Away, what other interests do you have and how do you manage to balance everything?
Outside of SailAway, I play Lacrosse for my High School. I play goalie, and I have a blast. Honestly, if I could I would probably create an organization that helps young kids learn lacrosse. I also am an aspiring filmmaker. It's very easy compartmentalizing time for everything, and still get great grades in school!
Question 7: What advice do you have for aspiring teen entrepreneurs?
Even if others don't believe in your idea, you should never give up on it. I experienced that when I started SailAway, but I now realize how I can empower young kids and adults alike to learn the sport and culture of sailing!
Check out SailAway and Dhruva's Social Media!