Sumit Jashnani is no stranger to Aviation. A graduate of the Emirates Aviation University in Dubai with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Sumit designed a Solar-powered UAV for his fourth year college project.
“The idea was to build a solar powered UAV that kept flying until it failed. In the end, our test module flew for 72 hours – way better than our expectations. I’ve written an academic paper on it, which was published and presented at a Royal Aeronautical Society conference. It’s also been cited 10 times in technology journals.”
Sumit is a humble and polite guy, almost embarrassed to talk about the recognition and awards his college project received. He is now a GE Lead Field Service Engineer supporting Emirates Airlines in Dubai, UAE and is living his dream job.
“I always had a passion for aeronautical engineering. After graduating, I declined three or four jobs and was then lucky enough to be hired by GE – I was in awe of GE.”
Sumit was born in Dubai to Indian parents. He was sent to boarding school in India when he was 10 years old and stayed there for 8 years.
“I was head boy in my senior year, captain of the basketball team and represented the school in soccer and athletics. I was also part of a national level IT quiz team. I’ve always been a nerd and loved science. I stopped doing sports because I couldn’t do both.”
Sumit’s first role at GE was a Customer Fulfilment Coordinator on the GE90 engine. He quickly learned about Lean Six Sigma and process improvement.
“I got to see the engine from inside out. It was a challenging role and I was thrown in at the deep end but I learned so much.”
Sumit moved onto the GP7200 engine, an engine produced by Engine Alliance (a 50/50 JV between GE and Pratt & Whitney).
“On GP (GP7200 engine), I got in-depth technical knowledge and picked up lots of learning. I got to understand the value of a JV and how to work with an important partner. During my first year on GP, I was supporting engine inspections that could occur any time day or night. I had 218 inspections over a 6-month period. It sounds a lot, but I consider myself lucky. I think after that point people started to trust me more.”
Sumit is now a Lead Field Services Engineer. Field Services Engineers (FSEs) are responsible for the customers flying fleet. This involves reducing fleet exposure through the implementation of engine modifications, that if not done could lead to delays and cancellations. Sumit describes FSEs as the ‘voice of the customer’, keeping the business informed of any potential issues. FSE’s maintain accurate, in-depth knowledge of the hardware in the customer’s fleet and the way the fleet is operated.
“Since most of us are located at the customer, we run special projects to fulfill customer needs or requests. One of our major roles is to be on-call for any technical needs that the customer might have. In September 2014, I moved onto the GE90 and it has been a blast. I worked with the customer to look at an engine change project – creating an AOG tool kit which can fit onto any flight. Configuration management is also crucial on GE90 – so I worked with the airline to incorporate all the SBs (Service Bulletins) to ensure their products were up to date.”
It’s just another example of where Sumit has taken the initiative to improve the customer’s capabilities. Sumit and his department are completely bought into the GE beliefs, specifically ‘Customers Determine our Success’.
“I’m always trying to do as much as I can for our customer. Over the past couple of years I’ve built up a great relationship with the Emirates VP of Engineering Tech services. He has built trust and faith in me and he comes to me for my thoughts and ideas.”
“One time, he called me about an issue he was having and it had nothing to do with GE. It was a Thursday evening and there was an issue with one of the A380 wing flaps. They were trying to reach part of the wing, but the entry point was tiny and access was limited. He called me to see if I had any ideas. I knew our On-Wing Support group had small borescope compatible retrieval tools that are needed to access our engine compressors, and I wondered if this might work. The next morning I borrowed the equipment from On-Wing Support and took it to the Emirates team working on the wing. It worked. Using the borescope, the team was able to access the area in question and fix the problem.”
Sumit had no problem helping the customer fix a non-GE issue, even if it was over the weekend.
“Why? Because he called me. He needed help. You would do it for a friend so why not a customer? I have a good relationship with him and I wanted to make him happy … that’s what we do.”
Yet another proof point that Sumit will do anything to keep his customer happy. Sumit says that on average he and his teammates are woken in the middle of the night or working very at least three nights a week.
“I always come to work with the attitude that I need to make a difference and that I do not know everything. I will always learn something new and I always listen to what people with more experience than me have to say. Being recognized is also fueling my desire to excel and do better.”
Sumit is being recognized. He has won two Customer Hero awards in the last 12 months – awarded to customer facing GE employees who have gone above and beyond in the support of a customer.
“Of late, we (FSEs) are more proactive and engaged in all facets of the airline work. Today, we’re so much more than administrators. We’re sat at the big boys table with a lot more access to data and analytics. I like the direction in which GE is heading.”