• Innovative nation-wide B-School contest draws over 7,000 industry-best talent
  • Sets stage to engage young academics to aspire for career in aviation

Bangalore, OCTOBER 19, 2023: Team Horizon of IIM Bangalore has won the top honours of the National Champion in the first edition of SOAR (Spirit of Aviation Reimagined), Air India’s business challenge based annual nationwide B-school competition. Team JMH, representing IMT Ghaziabad, was the 1st Runners-Up, while the teams Republic of Restless, representing IIM Shillong, and Horizon, representing IIFT, emerged joint winners for the 2nd Runners-Up position in the competition that saw 27 premier business schools vying for the top honours.

A first-of-its-kind student interactive programme in the aviation industry, SOAR is part of Air India’s campus outreach initiative to engage with young talent and build a strong leadership pipeline for tomorrow. In the process, the students are being offered an insight into Air India’s transformation journey to inspire them to be part of the new Air India. 

Strengthening human resources through merit-driven recruitment programmes is a milestone that Air India had set out to achieve in its five-year transformation journey, Vihaan.AI. Ever since its coming back home to the Tata Group, Air India is getting firmly established as an employer of choice. The talent augmentation drives of Air India over the last one year have been receiving overwhelming response from the market and leading institutes with the initial recruitment drive for management post-graduates drawing response from over 25,000 applicants in just about one week. To strengthen its human resources in every stream, Air India is investing in shaping early careers and building a strong leadership pipeline for tomorrow.  

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“Air India is actively reimagining its role in the aviation sector, and our journey to top campuses in the country is more than just a recruitment drive. We are inviting the brightest young minds to join us on this exciting journey of innovation and leadership in aviation. We are consistently encouraging excellence and working to shape the future of aviation. SOAR is a platform which benefits industry, academia and students simultaneously,” Dr Suresh Dutt Tripathi, Chief Human Resources Officer, Air India, said.

Since its launch in August 2023, SOAR had received an overwhelming response with over 7,100 registrations from B-Schools across the country. After evaluating the presentations, the shortlisted 12 final teams with three members each vied for the top honours in the grand finale on Monday, in Gurugram. Participants engaged in day-long brainstorming sessions to come up with solutions to real-world challenges of the aviation sector—from marketing to baggage coordination to technology to cultural issues. 

The winners at the grand finale were selected by a high-level jury comprising senior Air India executives after evaluating the presentations. The second runners-up teams won a cash award and a Taj Stay voucher for each member. The first runners-up team received cash award and two round-trip Goa/Kerala flight tickets and a Taj Stay voucher for each team member. The champions received a cash award, two round-trip London/Paris flight tickets and a Taj Stay voucher for each team member. 

This unique move to engage fresh talent to the nuances of the aviation sector will go a long way in not only augmenting Air India’s employee pool with the best talent but will also contribute to strengthening the aviation ecosystem in the country by inspiring bright minds to develop interest and aspire for achieving excellence in the airline industry.

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About Air India: 

Founded by the legendary JRD Tata, Air India pioneered India’s aviation sector. Since its first flight on October 15, 1932, Air India has built an extensive domestic network with non-stop flights to cities around the world, across the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Far East, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Gulf. After 69 years as a government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were welcomed back into the Tata group in January 2022.

Air India is navigating through a major five-year transformation roadmap under the aegis of Vihaan.AI, with an ambition to become a world class airline with an Indian heart. The first phase of this transformation, the taxi phase was recently concluded, and focused on fixing the basics. These included bringing back to service many long grounded aircraft, addition of talent across flying and ground functions, rapid upgradation of technology, and strengthening of customer care initiatives amongst others

A member of Star Alliance, the largest global airline consortium of leading international airlines, Air India offers seamless connectivity and facilities to passengers all over the world.

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