A1986 batch Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer, Colonel S. Gagarin is currently serving as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Hassan Mangalore Rail Development Company (HMRDC) located in Bengaluru. He brings to the table 31 years of experience in the railway sector. Prior to joining HMRDC, Gagarin has worked in the operations, commercial and safety wings of three zonal railways – Southern Railway, South Western Railway and South East Central Railway. He was also on deputation as chief regional manager, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.
Over the course of his career, he has conceptualised many novel schemes such as computerised parking, ticket vending machines, snack vending machines, mobile (electric) catering trolleys, mobile kitchens, LED-based train information boards, and branding of trains. Gagarin has also introduced battery-operated ferry carts in Bengaluru that were later emulated by other agencies. Moreover, a policy circular in this regard was also published by the Ministry of Railways.
He has won 13 awards for his efficient work style. He has attended many training programmes and has delivered lectures at premier training institutes such as the National Academy of Customs and Narcotics, the National Institute of Coal Management, management development institutes of South Eastern Coalfields Limited and Western Coalfields Limited, NTPC Limited, the Bhilai Steel Plant and other railway training institutes.
Apart from this, he has been a visiting faculty member at a number of educational institutes and universities. He likes to talk on a wide range of subjects such as morale and motivation, communication skills, interpersonal effectiveness, change management, conflict management, time management, stress management, leadership and mentoring, values at the workplace, supply chain management and women empowerment. He also has a passion for interacting with children and has addressed about 400,000 students over the years. Further, he has been a mentor for hundreds of civil service aspirants.
Gagarin holds postgraduate degrees in public administration, business administration and English besides having a postgraduate diploma in English Language Teaching. At present, he is pursuing a master’s in sociology. During his spare time, Gagarin likes to sing and write poems in his mother tongue, Telugu, and translate them to English. He and his wife Manjula have two children.