Sanjiv Kapoor joins Vistara as chief strategy and commercial officer

A day after he quit as chief operating officer at SpiceJet Ltd, Sanjiv Kapoor is on board rival airline Vistara, run by Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines' Indian JV Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, as its chief strategy and commercial officer.

Kapoor, 48, will be assuming the role at Vistara in February, 2016 and will be succeeding Giam Ming Toh, chief commercial officer at Vistara. Kapoor's last day at SpiceJet is October 31.

Giam, who was deputed by Singapore Airlines in Nov 2013 to support Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO Vistara to set up TATA SIA Airlines, will return to Singapore Airlines on completion of his deputation with Vistara. 

Tata Sons, the holding arm of the diversified business conglomerate that invested an initial amount of $100 million in the JV, holds 51 per cent stake while Singapore Airlines holds the remaining 49 per cent.

Vistara commenced operations around 10 months back and has since then scaled up to eight aircraft connecting 12 destinations.

“The airline (Vistara) has the best possible parentage in the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines and with such wonderful genes, the world is its oyster,” Kapoor said in a statement.

SpiceJet, the country's second-largest budget carrier, has seen many senior-level exits since the change in ownership, including its chief commercial officer Kaneswaran Avili and IT head Sudhakar Kondisetty. It also does not have a chief executive officer ever since July 2013 when the then CEO Neil Mills quit the airline.

As part of a revival plan, Ajay Singh, co-founder of SpiceJet, who exited the airline in 2010, took back its control after acquiring the entire 58.46 per cent stake of Kalanithi Maran and Kal Airways Pvt. Ltd in February.

With over 19 years of experience in the airline industry, Kapoor has worked with airlines in Asia, Europe, and the US in leadership and advisory positions. The companies he worked with include Northwest Airlines, Bain and Company, Temasek Holdings (Singapore), and BCG (the Boston Consulting Group), among others.

A graduate from Dartmouth College, USA, he has a MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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