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