Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Here’s how GoAir’s CIO is leveraging digital to enhance business, customer experience

Sajid Sayed, VP-IT at GoAir, looks at himself as a ‘change agent.’ Always looking to leverage technology innovatively, he detests status quo. ETCIO caught up with him to get a low-down on how IT was creating a differentiator for the Low Cost Carrier.

In this two-part interview, Sajid throws light on various aspects ranging from digital transformation to customer experience and from his most challenging project to creating new revenue streams.

Despite launching around the same time as other LCCs (Low Cost Carrier), GoAir today ranks fifth in terms of market share. Why is it so?

As a Low Cost Carrier, GoAir has been in the industry for the last 12-13 years. While we may lag in terms of market share, we are one of the only two airlines that have made profits consecutively for the last 6 years. A company’s market share is a product of its capacity. We today fly 32 aircraft, while three years back when I joined, we had 19 aircraft. Although we have come a long way (19 aircraft to 32 aircraft), our capacity is limited.

From a strategy standpoint, we are not here to make headlines or to be flamboyant. We currently fly to 23 destinations, and will continue to fly where we will make money. About 80% of the traffic in India is on these 23 routes so why diversify for the heck of diversifying? We added more flights on these existing routes and will continue to make these networks stronger. There are plans to fly international soon.

Nevertheless, GoAir has placed an order of 144 aircraft with 72 aircraft coming in the next 5 years. You will see the market share increase.

Every enterprise worth its salt is racing towards digital transformation. How are you fuelling such a transformation in GoAir? Which technologies are you leveraging?

In the airline industry, GoAir is looked upon as a follower. But with technology we are changing this impression. In our quest to become a digital airline, we have taken certain initiatives that are the first in the industry. We migrated our ERP from SAP ECC to SAP S/4 HANA. When we looked around, none of the airlines in India had migrated to S/4 HANA. There was a big question mark if we wanted to be the first airline to do so. We took the risk and migrated to S/4 HANA in March 2017. We are pleased that the results have been very positive.

How has the implementation of SAP S/4 HANA impacted GoAir?

SAP S/4 HANA comes with in-memory computing thus enhancing system performance. It has basic BI capabilities that allow effective analysis of data. The existing SAP solution already had all the cost in it. With the new S/4 HANA solution, we have now been able to allocate that cost at each flight and route level.
09/05/18 Yashvendra Singh/