Infotech Lead India: Sandeep Kothari is heading IT at Travel Food Services (TFS). He says TFS will roll out Apple iPads this month to improve productivity.
He is looking after IT strategy and macro level business decisions at TFS that is in the process of transforming travel by making it more comfortable and convenient for travelers with regards to food and beverages.
At present, airports and other travel and transit venues are melting pots of diverse cultures and identities where people from varied walks of life congregate. TFS is trying to create solutions that provide travelers with greater choice, comfort and convenience
In an online interview, Kothari talks about IT plans of TFS.
What are the major technological challenges and technology adoption in the hospitality industry?
We are operating in Airport Space and therefore we are dependent on their infrastructure. Challenges we face are in terms of selection of ICT partners as there are only 1-2 partners who have feasibility.
Currently we have implemented complete end-to-end ERP and we have deployed Digital Signage Technology connected to Point of Sale.
Tablets are used in the hospitality industry globally. Are you planning to utilize tablets to increase productivity?
We have already selected Apple iPads as our technology to increase productivity and should roll out by 31 October 2012.
How are you planning to increase interaction with online customers?
We are in the process to put our Content Management Strategy in place for interaction with online customers through Social Media and by adapting Mobile Apps.
Who are your Wi-Fi providers and how do you rate their services?
For our Customers it is being provided by Airports Authorities and for our back office it is Tata Communication and Airtel, their services are average,
not completely satisfied.
What are your organizations’ devices (BYOD) and social media access policies? How it is impacting growth of the company?
All our employees are allowed to bring their Devices and Social Media Policies are applicable to Executive level and we have kept open for Manager and above level employees. There has been positive growth with the mentioned strategy knowing the level of responsibility of each Manager has and the impact of their communication to the outside world and internal customers.
Do you expect forthcoming 4G services to play any role in enterprises? What will be your main usage?
On successful 4G services implementation it will be great opportunity at enterprise level, particularly in Communication (Audio/Video). We will using it for our interaction with our Customers and employees located t different geographical locations.
What are the new technologies that you are planning to implement?
We are planning to launch Customer Loyalty program along with Debit Card which will be used to Purchase Food and Beverage at the Airports, iPads kiosk for Ordering Food, Online Feedback for Customers, Entertainment Zone and Store / Outlet Locator – All in one device for our Customers.
What is your ICT budget? What is the growth in ICT budget? What are the new components?
We have spent approximately Rs 25 lakhs in FY 2011-12 and there has been 25 percent growth in the current fiscal budget. New components would be higher bandwidth, and using ICT for customer interaction.
Have you started utilizing cloud apps. Since you deal with customers’ sensitive data, are there concerns about security through there are private clouds are available?
Looking at security concerns, we will be using cloud apps for on-line customer feedback from 01 November 2012.
What would you expect from the IT and communications industry?
We expect clear communication network and honest bandwidth to begin with.
Who are your main vendors and what are their contributions?
We are working with Tata Communication for lease line and Bharti Airtel for lease line and mobile communication.
As a CIO/CTO, what are your main contributions to your company?
I expect to contribute at least 1-1.5 percent for increasing revenue for the organization.