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Monday, October 31, 2011

Inside SWISS, Outside Switzerland - UK & Ireland


Neville Vapiwala, Customer Sales & Service Manager UK & Ireland

Once the capital of the British Empire, now home to many of the people from former colonies all around the world who reside here. Welcome to the most diverse and multicultural capital city in the world – my hometown London, where I work for Switzerland’s national airline.

My position as SWISS Customer Sales & Service Manager is multi-faceted with a plethora of responsibilities. The ability to multi-task and prioritise is essential. I ensure as a priority that for our market we deliver “the small things that bring us closer to our guests” by way of providing premium customer interactions.

Another aspect of what I do is to monitor and report on the service quality of our call centres in Cape Town and Suva (Fiji). I also ensure that for our market, our call centres are kept current and up to date. Further, I provide statistical reports highlighting areas where improvement is required and also where we excel. These are presented at management meetings and with feedback contribute to providing direction for SWISS in our market.

I am also the staff travel office - issuing flight tickets for our UK and Ireland-based employees. Working for a Swiss company means that we all travel regularly to Switzerland of course.

Although new to SWISS (I have just completed 1 year here) I have worked within the airline and travel industry for the past 25 years. My father worked for British Airways for roughly 30 years so you could say that the airline business is in our blood. I have been privileged enough to have travelled the world widely from as early as infancy thanks to my father’s employment and my subsequent employment. This in turn has enabled me to have a greater appreciation of different cultures and sensitivities. I have always enjoyed that fact that this business is ever evolving with technological advances and that one is constantly learning and being challenged.

I love living in London as it epitomises multiculturalism and liberal thought. The city is a hub of interaction for people from all parts of the world. Furthermore the landscape and history makes me feel exceptionally privileged and often takes me on a journey within my imagination as to what the city was like and what its inhabitants had to endure at the various stages in its history. From the Plague (Black Death) to the Great Fire of London to the Blitz during World War II, Londoners have always embodied a bold & tenacious spirit.

London has a lot to offer in terms of culture, history and entertainment. We have museums, art galleries, West End theatre, Brit-Rock, fashion and sports (Wimbledon, Wembley and many football, rugby and cricket clubs). Famous parks include Hyde Park and Regents Park and Zoo, and the city is also home to a multitude of markets (Portobello, Covent Garden and Camden to name a few) which offer arts/crafts and more. Additionally we have many historical buildings with architecture from different periods. Finally we are also home to the largest Carnival in Europe - Notting Hill!

All we could do with is a bit more sunshine, but then again nobody has everything!

So give yourself a real treat and jump aboard one of our 35 flights to London and enjoy the most diverse and multicultural capital city in the world!

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