Words of Wisdom By Mr DoraiRaj General Manager Of Singapore Airlines
14 February 2017
Indulge in the amazing journey undertaken by the General Manager of Singapore Airlines, Mr. Paul DoraiRaj, who is an industry expert with a unique eye for the market that has taken him and the Singapore Airlines to the very top of the Aviation Industry. Mr. DoraiRaj enlightened us with his distinctive tactics in the market and also had a few words of wisdom for the industry collectively that can help in shaping its future and development.
Q: What does it take to be the General Manager in Singapore Airlines?.
I have been with Singapore Airlines for more than 29 years, and have had the privilege of being able to work in six different countries such as South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Australia , Canada and Saudi Arabia apart from our head office in Singapore. Being stationed overseas has taught me to appreciate the unique culture of each country and how to interact with the people there. This includes the staff who are based in that particular office. As the head of an overseas office, I've learnt how to motivate my staff so that they can perform to their best of their abilities, and push to excellence as a team.
As leader of the team, it is crucial to know how to be quick to react to market condition and activities of our competitors. I also need to have a strong sense of integrity and drive to keep with the fast changing selling environment and technology. I find that building genuine relationships with industry partners, agents , hoteliers and the tourism authorities allows me to build up credibility amongst these industry players and enables me to be updated on the latest news within the aviation industry.
Q2: Apart from the stringent standards of Singapore Airlines, what work ethics do you employ as you go about your day?
As the SQ office in Maldives is made up of a small team, it is important that we are a cohesive team and support one another as much as possible. I try to lead by example by creating an 'open door' policy. This means that my door is always open to all staff, be it for work or personal agenda. Anyone is welcome to speak to me whenever they have issues or difficulties at work or home. And I take the time to listen to them and see how best I and the company can assist them.
I also try to provide opportunities for staff to develop more in-depth knowledge about the various aspects of the Company. This is done by allowing staff to be part of different projects and duties so that they can multi-task and be more well-rounded in terms of their work experience.
At SIA, excellent customer service is a cornerstone of what the Airline represents. I constantly remind my staff that we should aim to provide the highest standard of service as that would be what our customers expect when they choose to travel with us.
Q3: How is Singapore Airlines different from your closest competitors?
We prefer to focus on our own products and how they are designed to meet the needs of our customers, rather than to make comparisons with other carriers. We are committed to constantly innovating and improving our product and service offerings to provide our customers with the very best premium air travel experience even in the face of recent challenges faced by the airline industry. In the years ahead, Singapore Airlines will continue to focus on its premium positioning and on the fundamental values that drive our success. The key elements of safety, a zealous focus on our customers, product innovation and leadership, as well as network connectivity, form the foundation of our competitive offering and will continually be strengthened.
Q4: So, are there any new services or promotions that are in the works for destinations to or from the Maldives?
In particular for the Maldives market, we have an attractive 30 -day advance purchase fares to key destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur , Hong Kong , China and Bangkok
Additionally, we have recently expanded our network to new destinations such as Wellington, Canberra, Dusseldorf (for SIA) as well as to Fuzhou, Vientiane and Luang Prabang (for SilkAir).
We have also improved our frequent flyer membership programme, KrisFlyer. For instance, we have improved our earn-and-redeem options. This is based on feedback from customers who have requested for more ways to use their KrisFlyer miles. Members can now redeem for benefits on the ground such as KrisShop products and cash rebates for groceries and health & beauty products with the Dairy Farm group. In addition, KrisFlyer miles can also be used to redeem for flight vouchers with Scoot and Tigerair, or mixed with cash to pay for tickets on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, when booking on singaporeair.com
Members do not need to be regular flyers to earn miles, as KrisFlyer collaborates with close to 200 non-airline partners. Members can therefore earn miles from spending on their credit cards, groceries, petrol, retail shopping, and travel services such as hotels and car rental. With an increasing trend of online shopping, KrisFlyer miles can also be earned through the KrisFlyer Spree portal, with over 2000 merchants worldwide to choose from.
For members who travel regularly, tier benefits that focus on the airline travel experience await them. These include lounge access and other airline priority services. We continue to review our programme regularly to ensure it becomes more attractive and relevant for our members. For more information, please visit www.krisflyer.com
Q5: About the Maldives, what do you feel about the aviation industry here?
The Maldives is an important market in the Singapore Airlines network. Singapore Airlines in the Maldives has come a long way since our inaugural flight in 1984. Maldives will continue to be an integral market to SIA, a market that contributes considerably to our overall network revenue. Once the new airport in Maldives is ready and opens in 2018, I believe that facilities within the airport will allow carriers like Singapore Airlines to better serve our customers.