Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Revealed: How technology innovation is helping Vistara outfly competition

In an interview with ETCIO.COM, Ravinder Pal Singh, Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Tata Singapore Airlines ( Vistara) lays bare the IT route map of Vistara.

You are the first Chief Information and Innovation Officer of Vistara. Can you reflect on the beginning of your tenure at the new airlines? What were some of the things you did in the early days to set it on the right course?

In my early days at Vistara, I spent much time understanding the complexities of setting up of an airline business and its dependence on technology. The initial thrust was to build a strong foundational IT organization which can hold a growing world class airline now and in future. I have surrounded myself with people who complement my experience and expertise. My direct reportees are leaders and experts in their own right. I work with people who are better than me, hence I’m as good as they are. In my professional life as a technologist, I have always taken assignments where there is a true opportunity to create body of work.

In my current karmic endeavor, we have built the end-to-end IT infrastructure of Vistara on Cloud, which arguably makes it the world’s first such airline.

Our enterprise portfolio and its architecture is a mix of strong, core world-class platforms which are complimented by a growing portfolio of Robotics, AI and Big Data, which are solving simple and complex problems ranging from different attributes of the customer experience, aircraft and its engineering, optimized operations and connected employees. We are working on various initiatives which maybe be first in the history of aviation. But there is still a lot to be done and achieved.

Can you give us an overview of your role as the Chief Information and Innovation Officer of Vistara? What is your vision for the IT organization at Vistara?

The core values of Vistara are thoughtfulness and innovation. It’s a brave organization which has attempted a distinctive product-mix in Indian airline space. IT has played a strategic role in the overall success of Vistara so far.

My role in Vistara is to carve its future digital strategy, maximize its digital investments and take bold IT decisions, play a foundational role in running of the organization from a technology standpoint, create a sustainable organization with a strong digital portfolio, and seed robust future digital leadership. As Chief Innovation Officer, I want to induce a culture of creativity with courage; evangelize ideation to solve simple problems and predict future differentiators.

How are you setting the digital agenda of Vistara to drive innovation?

The central idea is to deliver an unmatched travel experience to our customers and to optimize processes and operations. We are continuing to invest in cutting-edge technology, mainly in three areas - AI, Robotics and Data Science - with a significant emphasis on customers. In parallel, we’re also using these technologies to enhance our operational efficiency by way of adopting more intelligent, sustainable and cost-effective ways of doing routine jobs, thereby also elevating our workplace.

Cutting-edge technologies, especially which are in commodity zone, play an important role in defining our digital agenda. As a startup airline and organization, we are laying a strong foundation for our future. Hence, we keep things simple and our enterprise architecture is clean, as it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees without a comprehensive view of what the proverbial forest looks like.
19/06/18 Sneha Jha/ETCIO.com

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