When we talk about diversity, we talk about including people from all kinds of marginalized communities into the conversation. We talk about bringing more women and championing them. However, we don’t often talk about how men can contribute to the idea of diversity. Alain Chisari, Vice President of Sales Asia and Pacific at Lufthansa Group manages and directs sales activities of the Lufthansa Group Airlines and also Brussels Airlines in the Asia Pacific region. He speaks with SheThePeople founder Shaili Chopra about Lufthansa’s expansion into India, his values, and why he believes men matter to the idea of diversity.
Watch the interview with Alain Chisari or read it below!
Tell us about the India opportunity – what’s the market like for an aviation company such as yours?
Well, of course, India is a growth market, unlike any other country we’ve seen so far. International travel has doubled within two years so the growth opportunities are enormous for us at Lufthansa. That’s why we’re also wanting to expand in India.
What are the opportunities in India that speak to you?
It’s not only the first-tier cities that have growth but also the second and the third-tier cities. These, too, have growth potential and opportunities so we’re looking at all organic growth. That’s why we’re bringing in more frequencies into India with the new service from Munich to Bangalore starting next spring. So we’ll have over 60 flights a week, from Germany and Switzerland into India but we’re also looking at second and third-tier cities through the corporations with Indian companies.
It’s not only the first-tier cities that have growth but also the second and the third-tier cities. These, too, have growth potential and opportunities so we’re looking at all organic growth
How has digitalisation changed or disrupted the entire travel business?
I think, if we look back, an airline would just have a great schedule and fly their plane from point A to point B. Now, it’s different in the sense that a traveller – all of us, as travellers – expect a digital experience when we fly abroad. So it’s not just the air travel itself but we have to provide customer service, a digital service along the way. It’s almost like a seamless digital company that we have to provide.
As a man who is trying to champion diversity, what are the things you keep in mind?
Well, my boss is female. I think we’re really supporting female growth into leadership positions. Why are we doing that? It’s because we need diversity, in such a large company. We have over 1,45,000 employees so we want to make sure that we’re balanced. Diversity helps us in bringing together different perspectives and views. We want to accommodate a workplace that facilities women in leadership positions. So I think setting the framework of an organization right is how we can achieve diversity. There’s still a lot of male leadership but we have a clear ambition of balancing it. We’re also looking at how female leadership positions can be a part-time position so there’s a balance of work and private life so that we can develop female talent.
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Several airlines now offer the non-binary option for gender while booking tickets. What’s Lufthansa’s view on this?
That’s a very important part of our digital strategy so we’re working to offer that. On all our sales trials and challenges, we’re working on exactly that proposition.
Diversity helps us in bringing together different perspectives and views. We want to accommodate a workplace that facilities women in leadership positions.
As someone who has headed an aviation company for quite some time, what are your three value systems?
If I had to pick my values, I’d say I’m very ambitious. And you have to be that if you’re working out of the Asia-Pacific market because here, growth and ambition go hand in hand. This ambition also comes with responsibility so I think one of my values would be being responsible with our resources and everything we do with our company, our people and our guests. I think those are the main values in my personal system.
READ ALSO: Why Organizations Should Take Steps Towards Gender Diversity
Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV