Employee Spotlight: Roop Johal, Director of Commercial Parking & Ground Transportation
From parked cars to passenger pickup, Roop Johal’s role at Tampa International Airport touches millions of passengers every year. Overseeing all operations that impact the customer's experience getting to and from the airport is a huge responsibility, and it's one that he manages with great care and skill.
Born and raised in England, Roop spent most of his life across the pond. His career, however, has taken him all over the world. Before his job at TPA, he worked at two other airports: the first just outside of Dubai, and the second in Birmingham, England. There, Roop worked with everything from airport parking management to air service to cargo operations.
When he was considering taking on the role of Director of Commercial Parking and Ground Transportation at TPA almost five years ago, Roop knew that there was something special about Tampa International Airport.
“An award-winning airport? Who wouldn’t want to join that team?” Roop said. “The idea of joining the team at TPA was appealing to me. It’s a prestigious Airport and truly offered a different challenge than the other airports had.”
After mulling it over, he decided to make the jump.
Along with his team, Roop oversees rental cars, Uber and Lyft pickup and manages a third-party that operates the parking garages at TPA.
“We take what we do very seriously," Roop said. “My team may be small, but our work touches millions of people. If you pick up a rental car or utilize one of our parking garages or use a rideshare app, my crew is responsible for overseeing that. I truly want to deliver the best service to our customers and not only meet our budget, but continue to surpass expectations at every level.”
When Roop isn’t at TPA, you’ll find him at home with his wife and two young sons or relaxing with his buddies, calling himself “a bit of a socialite.”
Around the office, Roop is well-known for using humor to communicate a point, a nod to his homeland culture.
“British banter is truly unique. Not only is a bit of a shock for people here in the States, it's a mental challenge for everyone involved.”
As someone who has been all over the world, Roop hopes to do more traveling this year to visit friends in other countries and states. Roop also wants to take his family back to England and the Middle East at some point, too.
“One of my kids was born in the Middle East, so I think it would be special to take them back and give them a chance to see that area now that they're a bit older," he said.
Roop has some advice for someone interested in a similar career at an airport: “You have to love it to be good at it. Don’t just do this job for the sake of doing it. While it can be stressful, if you love it, you’ll do it well.”