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Kinnari Ladha, Group head of business intelligence and data - group marketing, Tui Group

Path to power

 

Ladha has always had a passion for numbers and pursued this further by studying Mathematics and Computing at Kingston University, where she successfully went on to achieve a first-class honours degree. She started her career as a practitioner programming in SAS and SQL and, with her strong statistical academic foundation, specialised in predictive modelling and customer segmentation. Building on her technical and commercial competencies with a distinct focus on data analytics, she further expanded her skills and experiences across the business intelligence domain and became an expert at bringing data to life through the use of innovative and emerging visualisation techniques and tools. Over the last decade, her career has accelerated with a journey through senior roles leading and managing analytic strategy, transformation and delivery across multiple industries both consultancy and client side including telecoms, retail, travel and automotive industries. Today, Ladha holds a senior management position operating in the marketing, analytics and data industries. As global head of business intelligence and data at the world’s number one integrated tourism company, TUI group, she sits on the global analytics leadership board defining and influencing the strategic direction and digital transformation of the business powered by analytics and data. 

 

What has been the highlight of your career in the industry to date?

 

My current role at TUI Group has to be one of the high points and an enormous sense of personal achievement to have the opportunity to work within the global division of a hugely-respected brand. Being part of a diverse organisation that is going through a digital transformation and focusing on becoming data-driven is both exciting and challenging, especially with the responsibility of shaping the global analytic function and strategy. Mentoring, leading the women in data initiative for TUI Group and being an active contributor to a number of external global events would also be on my career highlights list.

 

If you could give your younger self some advice about how to progress in this industry, what would it be?

 

I would tell my younger self that time is limited, but opportunities are limitless. Don’t let the fear of failing be greater than the excitement of achieving your goal.

 

Did 2018 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

 

It most certainly did! Taking on the new role at TUI Group has been challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Joining a thriving business that is at an enterprise level requires you to navigate many obstacles, a world of difference compared to previous roles I have held. I’ve not only had to adapt to how the travel industry operates, but also how to collaborate and lead teams across the globe.

 

What do you expect 2019 to be like for the industry?

 

In our fast-paced digital era, organisations across all industries will continue to make data and technology strategies the core of their business. Companies will need to be agile in their adoption and implemention of their innovation roadmaps. I fully expect the industry to continue its exponential growth and for companies to keep pace they must also focus on their people strategy. For me, this will be a key pillar to their success.

 

Talent and skills are always a challenge to find - how are you tackling this in your organisation?

 

We have worked tirelessly to build a strong people strategy at TUI. We have several initiatives that are underway - the first of these is creating a global analytics community where practitioners from around the different business functions across the markets can share knowledge and skill on common tools and data platforms. We have recently started cross-market collaboration on projects, training and knowledge sharing, which is something that did not exist in the company. Working in partnership with HR, we have initiated an integrated talent management process, our newly formed Analytics Academy recognises the range of analytics roles across the business to support career progression.

 

What aspect of data, analytics or their use are you most optimistic about and why?

 

Improvement in the management and use of data. We’ve all read articles about the misuse of data in our industry. With the recent GDPR focus and disruption, I think this will be a catalyst for transformation. With the ever-growing threat of security issues, coupled with cautious consumers that are more aware than ever about their privacy, organisations will have to invest significantly in time and resources to address the security and management of their data.

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