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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 21 No. 40
Monday October 24, 2022

Jane Vaz Talks Mumbai

Jane Vaz

Jane Vaz created history of sorts when she became the first lady President of the Air Cargo Club of Bombay. And, all those who know her, are well aware that she does not take her job lightly. After all, she has been in the cargo game for a long time.
     At Turkish Airlines, where she is Deputy General Manager Sales, she has been monitoring Turkish’s market share and its quality for Western and Southern India.      Before that for nine years, she was handling cargo for Etihad Airways and her primary responsibility was to generate sales and fill the belly capacity of the flights. And, even before that she was with South African Airways (Cargo) for nine years. The lady is a hands-on person and is well aware of the loading patterns on a wide variety of aircraft having handled the B-747-SP, the B747-200, the B-747-200(F) and the AB-340-200 among others.
     A busy person, Vaz spent some time to talk to FlyingTypers. Working in an essentially male-dominated industry, she agreed that “there are many challenges that women face in a different field of work. But that can be overcome”, she said. “A positive mindset, ready to multitask and empathy created a space for me in the cargo industry. Overcoming those difficulties into opportunities helped me to develop myself and be recognized as an equal (with the men I worked with).”
     In the cargo industry for 27 years, Vaz still feels that “the journey has just started. Each day is a new learning experience and beginning of new horizons.” She confessed that she had been “driven by my passion to infuse a sustainability culture as part of my journey in this industry.”
     Vaz considers colleagues and those reporting to her as “my pillars and support system. There has always been an exchange of knowledge between my colleagues. We learn some and teach some – and this rotates our overall work cycle in office. Providing an opportunity to voice and speak their minds builds a strong relationship in the entire team,” she believes.
     And, she is not afraid of taking up new challenges. Her specialization in handling of dangerous goods has given her a unique place among her colleagues. Even so, she says that “I feel my strengths in sales/marketing and leadership skills help to collaborate with new business avenues.” In addition to dangerous goods, she has handled live animals, valuable goods and temperature cargo.
     The new-found acclaim that cargo has received during and after the pandemic has been good for the future of the business, she says. “Definitely post-pandemic we have seen cargo being recognized widely for its proactive, aggressive and quick response to the calamity. Cargo worked like a shield to counter the pandemic situation, supplying medicine and medical supplies worldwide. Today, more airlines are providing cargo aircraft capacity and giving equal rights and opportunity within the industry.”
     The Covid experience has taught us all lessons, she says and goes on to recount, that “empathy, togetherness, and the feeling of being there for one another . . . Yes, Covid did make us connect to the team via virtual calls. There was so much of a bond as all were present on one platform over a call. Each one was there for the other to assist and support our extended families. Life-saving was the most important aspect that we learnt. Also, the importance of speedy movement of goods. We saw how vital it was to make available medical and other supplies in time to the people who needed them most. I can say there was a prayer in every one’s mind to change the world. It seemed planet earth was at a stand-still and we needed to turn the clock back.”
     Jane Vaz remembers those days of turmoil vividly. She says, “Turkish Cargo did not stop and was ready with its fleet to move all over the world to supply medical supplies and equipment. At Mumbai Airport, we did not stand still—our ground handlers and support staff worked round the clock. Special vehicles and provisions were made to ensure the safety of the working team. We flew all freighters into Mumbai and ensured that the supply chain did not break. We carried Covid vaccines and medicines to all over the world.”
     Today, she points out, “It makes me proud to be working here as our fearless crew flew our Turkish freighters all over the world just as our motto says: ‘Raise the Bar’.”
     After all these years, what is it that keeps Jane Vaz excited about the cargo industry? She answers: “The ever-growing digitalization has been opening new avenues every day, and has at the same time increased our efficiency and sustainability.”
     Vaz feels that “if we overcome our internal barriers and ability to self-promote, we (women) can see immense growth and equal opportunity. Time management, work-life balance and creating a good support network to help ourselves will give us the right balance.”
     The cargo industry, Jane Vaz says, has evolved and grown providing lot of opportunities to women. “Now, it solely depends on us to recognize and grow with our inner strengths and abilities.”
Tirthankar Ghosh

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