CIO Profile: Vistara’s Vinod Bhat on why being customer-centric is the key

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Vinod Bhat worked his way up through the ranks at Tata Consultancy Services, including 15 years outside India managing markets across the US, UK, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, before returning to India to become a global head of consumer packaged goods for TCS. But after 28 years with the company, he decided to spread his wings and move to a new role as CIO of Vistara, the airline jointly owned by Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons.

School played a major role in Bhat’s career development. “I studied in Anantnag in Kashmir in one of the few English-medium schools then. The school itself was extraordinary in nature as it played a major role in my career development. The school had a shadow-teacher system where the students run the show when teachers are not available. We also did Shakespeare plays and this boosted my confidence for facing people at a very young age.”

Bhat’s life mantra is to see challenges as opportunities, something he learned from his grandfather. “He was a true entrepreneur and ran multiple businesses. He always spotted the opportunity, took the risk, and came out of his comfort zone. This is something I do in my career as well.”

CIO India: Tell us about your career path. What has been your greatest career achievement?

Vinod Bhat: I did my master’s in electronics, a hot subject in those days. I realized that IT was the next big thing, so I did a master’s in computer science as well, after which I joined TCS in Chennai. That was my turning point to technology.



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