The Moodie Blog in India – A Scotsman in Delhi

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Gavin McKechnie has seen plenty of challenges during a long career in retail and other customer-facing sectors that began many years ago as a management trainee at McDonald’s (“I still say I learned more there in ten months in terms of people management than I’ve ever learned since”).

But he’s never seen anything like the opportunity – and the challenge – at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. “It’s a great place to be,” says Gavin, who joined the GMR-run organisation on 1 April after nine years with BAA and World Duty Free, most recently as Commercial Director for non-regulated income at BAA-owned airports in Scotland and at Southampton.

“I couldn’t have made a better choice… here I really feel I can make a difference,” he says, praising the family spirit of the GMR organisation and its focus on getting difficult jobs done.

The Scot has brought his wife and two children to Delhi, and says each of them is embracing and enjoying the Indian experience. He chatted with me in the domestic departures area of Indira Gandhi, kindly taking time out from his frenetic 15-hour day, much of which is spent plotting the commercial space in the deeply ambitious new Terminal 3 (mock-up above) that will open in 2010 and the new domestic terminal 1D due to open later this year. You can read that interview in our forthcoming Indian market report in The Moodie Report Digital Print Edition, out next month.

Here’s a Scotsman, who like the soldier in his country’s famous folk song, has “wandered far away and soldiered far away”. So far he’s enjoying the journey hugely. He promises that Terminal 3 is going to be, as the sign below promises, a ‘glimpse into tomorrow’ and that it will deliver Delhi and India an airport, and a travel retail offer, that it deserves.

We say our goodbyes – Gavin back to that 15-hour day, me en route to Mumbai. Next stop Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport… 

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