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Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, SpiceJet Ltd.

A special thanks to the hands-on COO of SpiceJet, Sanjiv Kapoor

Last evening a little before 6pm, our family received devastating news that the matriarch of our family passed away in New Delhi. Naturally the family elders, my aged mother included, had to rush from Bangalore to New Delhi.

Getting anywhere in Bangalore during evening rush hour is difficult, all the way from south Bangalore (Koramangala) to the airport is a challenge, and with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visiting Bangalore, it is a nightmare. It was going to be touch and go.

Though I have the phone numbers of the CxOs of the major airlines with me, I felt only one would respond to an ordinary person like me. I made by booking on his airline, and tweeted my PNR to him with a request for assistance for my elderly mother.

And Sanjiv Kapoor did not disappoint.

He promptly responded to me, and within five minutes I received a call from Shweta from SpiceJet’s Bangalore airport team who was personally requested by Kapoor (no delegation in him contacting her), to assist my mother. She pointed out that in my rush, I had mistakenly made a reservation for the next day. Luckily, I had chosen SpiceFlex which in addition to seats, food, and priority boarding, included a fee-waived reservation change option, and she made the change without any charges. Shweta regularly followed up on our progress to the airport, and even met my mother, uncle and aunt, outside the terminal with their boarding passes to expedite them to the flight.

Sanjiv Kapoor too followed up with me to check if arrangements were correct.

I later found out that I was not an isolated incident. Sanjiv Kapoor is a hands-on boss who is personally committed to the satisfaction of his passengers, and excellence in performance. Kapoor practices SpiceJet’s new mantra “Whatever We Do, We Do It With All Our Heart” and reminds me of another great champion of customer delight; Louis V Gerstner Jr., the legendary boss who turned the fortunes of IBM around.

With such a committed leadership, I pray that Mr. Maran gives Mr. Kapoor a free hand and time. The success will come. In the mean time, this note conveying my sincerest thanks to Mr. Kapoor, Ms. Shweta, and the many SpiceJet team members, with warmest wishes for their success.

As usual comments are always welcome and encouraged.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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