‘OUR FO­CUS IS ON EX­CEP­TIONAL CUS­TOMER SER­VICE’

SAN­JIV KAPOOR, CHIEF STRAT­EGY AND COM­MER­CIAL OF­FI­CER, VIS­TARA

SP's Airbuz - - Front Page - San­jiv Kapoor, Chief Strat­egy and Com­mer­cial Of­fi­cer, Vis­tara

SP’s AirBuz (SP’s): At Vis­tara, there are two lega­cies in­volved: Tata Group and Sin­ga­pore Air­lines. How easy or dif­fi­cult it is to live up to the level of ex­pec­ta­tions given the his­to­ries of these two lega­cies? San­jiv Kapoor (Kapoor): Vis­tara is a fine man­i­fes­ta­tion of a long cher­ished dream of its two par­ent com­pa­nies. Vis­tara’s big­gest strength is its en­vi­able lin­eage of Tata Sons and Sin­ga­pore Air­lines, two global con­glom­er­ates re­spected for the high­est stan­dards of ser­vice ex­cel­lence, hospi­tal­ity and cus­tomer-cen­tric­ity. While Vis­tara has in­her­ited its val­ues from both its par­ents, it stands with pride to have a dis­tinc­tive cul­ture of its own as an or­gan­i­sa­tion. Simply put, we em­brace the tra­di­tions and cul­tures of our par­ent com­pa­nies and dec­o­rate them our way. And, when such strong ethos is up­held, the ex­pec­ta­tions from Vis­tara are al­ways high, not just from our cus­tomers, but also from our par­ent com­pa­nies. They be­lieve in noth­ing, but the best, and that is nat­u­rally part of Vis­tara’s DNA as well. That’s why we train our staff to not blindly stick to the rule books, be­cause we un­der­stand that re­sponse to hu­man emo­tions and sen­ti­ments can­not be trans­ac­tional or cal­cu­lated al­ways. Our front­line staff is trained to fol­low the mantra of ‘do the right by the cus­tomer’ and be in­tu­itively thought­ful. It’s as sim­ple as that. Be­fore Vis­tara en­tered the mar­ket, fly­ing had be­come a chore for mil­lions of trav­ellers, and it only meant trans­porta­tion from Point A to B, lack­ing the ex­cite­ment as­so­ci­ated with air travel. As a full ser­vice car­rier, Vis­tara en­deav­ours to trans­form that sen­ti­ment, and so all our ef­forts re­volve around de­light­ing our cus­tomers in ev­ery small or big way. We call this ‘the new feel­ing’ of fly­ing. SP’s: What ex­actly is the USP of Vis­tara? Kapoor: Vis­tara is unique in so many dif­fer­ent ways. First, we’re an ex­tra­or­di­nary start-up. Typ­i­cally, the start-up cul­ture isn’t some­thing that one would as­so­ciate with an air­line formed by Tata and Sin­ga­pore Air­lines, but the beauty of Vis­tara’s cul­ture is that it blends her­itage and nov­elty. Sec­ondly, our ap­proach to the mar­ket, as may be vis­i­ble, is to bring back the charm of fly­ing with a new-age out­look. At Vis­tara, just like any other start-up, we’re fear­less of tak­ing risks or ex­per­i­ment­ing, which forms a com­pa­ny­wide cul­ture of fos­ter­ing in­no­va­tion. This per­spec­tive has led to many in­dus­try-first ini­tia­tives. Whether it is pi­o­neer­ing the Pre­mium Econ­omy class in In­dia or in­tro­duc­ing the coun­try’s first and fastest fre­quent flyer pro­gramme, it is clear that our thought­pro­cess is dif­fer­ent. Apart from sev­eral prod­uct and ser­vice dif­fer­en­tia­tors, I’d just like to say that our in­tent and our point of view is our USP, which even­tu­ally helps us strike the right chord with the evolv­ing trav­ellers and global cit­i­zens of to­day. In the ser­vice in­dus­try, de­tails do mat­ter, and we take care of them. We be­lieve in tak­ing care of the small things for the big ones to fall in place. SP’s: In 2006, King­fisher did come up with full-frill air­line equipped with even in­flight en­ter­tain­ment. Around that time, the air­line was over­whelm­ingly re­ceived well. How­ever, for some un­known/dicey rea­sons In­dia lost the con­ti­nu­ity of this air­line. Af­ter­wards we saw an ocean of growth of low-cost car­ri­ers in terms of numbers and the mar­ket share. Do you think to­day mar­ket in In­dia is able to wel­come a full-frill air­line like yours whole-heart­edly and there is a sus­tained or rather grow­ing de­mand of a full-frill air­line? Kapoor: In­dia is al­ready the world’s third largest do­mes­tic avi­a­tion mar­ket that flies more than 100 mil­lion pas­sen­gers ev­ery year, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties for the sec­tor only mul­ti­ply from here. As In­dia’s mid­dle-class con­tin­ues to rise and air travel in­creas­ingly be­comes more ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple be­yond the ma­jor cities, we ob­serve a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in de­mand for finer ex­pe­ri­ences – fly­ing is def­i­nitely one of them. To­day’s trav­ellers’ view trav­el­ling as an im­por­tant contributor to their per­sonal growth, and not just a lux­ury. While much of the mar­ket is price sen­si­tive, there is a grow­ing seg­ment that tends to choose ex­pe­ri­ences over ‘things’, as they gain more af­flu­ence es­pe­cially in a rapidly de­vel­op­ing

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