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November - 2008 - issue > Movers and Shakers
Building the travel business
Vimali Swamy
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
With over 19 years of experience in technical and business leadership roles, Mahesh Shastry has now taken on a new role as the Head of Global Travel Business at Sonata Software. Prior to Sonata, Shastry has worked with Emirates Airlines for 16 years, and more recently he was with NIIT Technologies as the Global Head of their Travel, Transportation, and Logistics (TTL) business. The new role at Sonata entails the responsibility of building the TTL domain and bringing in new customers in the Middle East region and expanding the TTL business worldwide. Focus will also be on expansion of overall TTL business of Sonata Software and bringing in sharper domain focus within the organization.

Currently, the structure and size of his team is being finalized. "I know the TTL business accounts for a fairly big chunk of Sonata Software's revenues and therefore the team has to be of appropriate size and profile. My leadership mantra is to spur consistent growth and imparting relevant learning to each team member. While preferring to lead from the front, I provide full support and confidence to the team to take risks and manage them effectively. Each team member of my team has to grow within the organization in an effective manner and become good leaders. Growth of my team is key to the growth of my company and its stakeholders," says Shastry.

He believes that commitment and focus on business results and ability to articulate a particular value or USP to the customers are the strengths of a good leader. He advises young leaders to keep learning and utilize that learning effectively for business results. Opportunities are the only way to learn quickly and if business results were in line with the expectations then growth of a person would be consistent. Overall, professionals must aim to be the best in whatever specialized areas they focus on and ensure that their talents are effectively translated into value for customers and the organization. In leisure, Shastry enjoys spending time with his family. His other passions include movies, music, good food, politics, fitness, traveling, and anything Indian, since he has been living outside India for a long time.

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