Steve Wood, who works as a senior procurement manager for Lloyds TSB, runs diving courses at weekends.
Steve Wood, who works as a senior procurement manager for Lloyds TSB, runs diving courses at weekends.

Lloyds TBS banker has another trade in stock

Steve Wood, known as "Scuba Steve" to some, works as a senior procurement manager for Lloyds TSB during the week and runs diving courses at weekends. He explains how working weekends keeps him buoyant on a Monday morning.

How do you deal with the seven-day week?

I don't work every weekend as a diving instructor, probably three out of four, and some evenings in the week. You have to take some time off.

Still, that is a lot of work.

I enjoy working in the business world. I've worked for a number of financial institutions for 20 years. In the week you are using your brain a lot more and diving is a different type of work. It is more physical and it is a nice way to switch off from the bank. Being a diving instructor certainly doesn't feel like work.

Do you often feel tired for work at the bank?

If I work on the weekend I'm up at 6am with students both Friday and Saturday mornings. By the end of Saturday evening I will crash out on the couch and order a take-away. I'll be lucky if I make it to half-time in a Premier League football match on my TV.

So Mondays are hard?

Not really. I usually go in feeling fresh because I've done something constructive with my weekend. Colleagues know when I've been diving because I have a nice tan - sadly, only around my face and neck where the wetsuit does not cover.

If you love diving so much, why not take the plunge and be a full-time dive instructor?

If you teach diving all the time you can lose the love for it. Diving becomes what you have to do to earn money. I also still enjoy putting to use my marketing and business skills in the week. I'm really passionate and interested in teaching people how to dive, so it is the perfect marriage.

I suppose it is a bonus that you get paid?

Yes, it is good if the perfect marriage also pays. I'm an independent instructor but I'm affiliated to Al Boom Diving. They help with administration, teaching materials and equipment and take a 50 per cent cut of the price I charge.

How did you become involved with Al Boom?

I'm originally from the UK. I went travelling five years ago for a year and met a friend … who lived in Dubai. I asked about jobs at Lloyds TSB, found a position and then immediately asked about jobs at Al Boom. I've now been teaching in the country for four years.

How else does your side job improve your life?

I earn between Dh3,000 (US$816) and Dh4,000 a month, which helps pay for my own kit, like a new dive watch. Or it helps towards holidays and my own dive trips. I could never be able to be a full-time dive instructor and earn the same as I do in the bank.


Favourite book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Holiday choice: Anything Disney-related

Proudest achievement: Receiving a presidential award for foreign services.

Family: Wife and three children.

Like motto: You always get what you ask for, the universe listens.


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Emirates Cricket Board Women’s T10

ECB Hawks v ECB Falcons

Monday, April 6, 7.30pm, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

The match will be broadcast live on the My Sports Eye Facebook page



Coach: Chaitrali Kalgutkar

Squad: Chaya Mughal (captain), Archara Supriya, Chamani Senevirathne, Chathurika Anand, Geethika Jyothis, Indhuja Nandakumar, Kashish Loungani, Khushi Sharma, Khushi Tanwar, Rinitha Rajith, Siddhi Pagarani, Siya Gokhale, Subha Srinivasan, Suraksha Kotte, Theertha Satish



Coach: Najeeb Amar

Squad: Kavisha Kumari (captain), Almaseera Jahangir, Annika Shivpuri, Archisha Mukherjee, Judit Cleetus, Ishani Senavirathne, Lavanya Keny, Mahika Gaur, Malavika Unnithan, Rishitha Rajith, Rithika Rajith, Samaira Dharnidharka, Shashini Kaluarachchi, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi, Vaishnave Mahesh



Expert input

If you had all the money in the world, what’s the one sneaker you would buy or create?

“There are a few shoes that have ‘grail’ status for me. But the one I have always wanted is the Nike x Patta x Parra Air Max 1 - Cherrywood. To get a pair in my size brand new is would cost me between Dh8,000 and Dh 10,000.” Jack Brett

“If I had all the money, I would approach Nike and ask them to do my own Air Force 1, that’s one of my dreams.” Yaseen Benchouche

“There’s nothing out there yet that I’d pay an insane amount for, but I’d love to create my own shoe with Tinker Hatfield and Jordan.” Joshua Cox

“I think I’d buy a defunct footwear brand; I’d like the challenge of reinterpreting a brand’s history and changing options.” Kris Balerite

 “I’d stir up a creative collaboration with designers Martin Margiela of the mixed patchwork sneakers, and Yohji Yamamoto.” Hussain Moloobhoy

“If I had all the money in the world, I’d live somewhere where I’d never have to wear shoes again.” Raj Malhotra


Director: Richie Mehta

Starring: Nimisha Sajayan, Roshan Mathew, Dibyendu Bhattacharya

Rating: 3/5