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“He’s an ebullient, live-wire, irrepressible character who knows only one speed – supersonic.”
In my role as Chairman of the first day of the Delhi Terminal 3 concessionaires’ conference held by Delhi International Airport and GMR this week, that’s how I introduced GMR Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Strategic Planning Suredj Autar (below).
The name stuck. Speaker after speaker subsequently referred to ‘Supersonic’ in later presentations.
Suredj truly lives up to his new epithet. He is driving a quite incredible team effort to get the commercial offer ready at the new T3, slated to open in July.
It was a construction site (below) when The Moodie Report walked it on Monday. But five months from now almost to the day it will have been transformed into what GMR pledges will be one of the great airports of the world.
[Pictured Martin Moodie – the one with the ill-fitting hat – and The Design Solution Director Robbie Gill]
I don’t doubt it. I interviewed GMR Airports Division Business Chairman Kiran Grandi (below) this week, a modest man who when he said the new terminal would be “10 out of 10” was speaking with passion and pride and conviction. I met dozens of the DIAL managers and all were imbued with a sense of destiny.
I met the leading concessionaires from duty free to food & beverage to premium lounges. All were convinced they were part of history being made.
And I met Suredj. Or at least I kept meeting him as he passed me in a whirr. Suredj cannot keep still for a single moment, such is his energy for any project that he’s involved with. And none has ever compared to what he’s trying to deliver at Terminal 3.
Suredj knows airport commercial revenues inside out and back to front. He headed the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol non-aeronautical revenues team for five years. He ran HMSHost’s operations in Asia Pacific. Everywhere he goes he makes things happen.
There’s an almost evangelical zeal to him, combined with a boyish enthusiasm that you just can’t help but like.
With five months to go GMR and DIAL are going to have to move at a pace perhaps unprecedented in aviation circles to get the job completed. What better way to do that than having a supersonic connection?