Ashok Gupta, Head - Talent & Business Partner, AirAsia India

Ashok Gupta is AirAsia India’s Head – Talent and Business Partner, with over 20 years of experience in the BFSI, Telecom, Information Technology, Engineering, Infrastructure, and Aviation industry. His previous career stints include working with companies such as IBM, L&T Technology Services, and Oracle Financials. His primary focus has been on developing a talent acquisition strategy in this dynamic industry, as well as facilitating the implementation of an effective people strategy aligned with organisational goals through business partnering and employee engagement.


The Indian aviation industry is on a high-growth trajectory, with India becoming the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world. While the airline industry went through a lull during the pandemic with operations coming to a near standstill, this also led to the freezing of job opportunities in the sector and giving the industry the time to enhance our internal recruitment tools to be future-ready.

‘Skill’, ‘Capability’ & ‘Competency’ based assessments hold the key for recruitment in any department, primarily the customer-facing ones, while technical and behavioral assessments lay the foundation for non-customer facing roles.

Today, in a digital era, where automation and technological embracement is the key, fuelled by the surge in the number of air travelers, there is definitely an increased demand for a skilled workforce. 

Further, the sky is buzzing with opportunities in the wake of new airlines coming in and revival of old ones. Indian aviation today is in a highly competitive space today and the same extends to recruitment too. 

We as of now see the demand for workforce is high in functions like ground operations, airport security, customer service, and flying crew, which has increased the challenges in recruiting for these roles. The process of finding the right talent with the required skill-sets and fulfilling their compensation needs isn’t the same anymore. 

Despite the fact that there is a general apprehension of “Artificial Intelligence” taking over the workforce, the reality is that guest-facing roles in the aviation industry will be less impacted as it continues to be a service-based industry and human interaction with  service staff is integral to creating and ensuring pleasant memories. Moreover, innovation can only enhance the guest experience at  airport terminals and make our internal processes more robust and efficient.

In our recent recruitment interactions, we have seen more and more candidates choosing aviation as their specialization, which is a  positive sign for the industry. AirAsia India has brought in a few changes in the “Talent Acquisition” space – deploying enrolment platforms, focusing on hiring diverse profiles, enriching the onboarding experience for recruits and, implementing the RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) model, a stepping stone in the evolution of the industry hiring process.

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