Revamp Air India


This refers to the report “Air India unveils revamp plan after privatization setback” (Business Line, June 23). Air India is facing problems similar to the challenges now being faced by Public Sector Banks in India. Let's not count the similarities in challenges. The Indian mindset of procrastinating problems and transferring ownership when things go wrong need to change. This is the residual from the management strategy the British taught the then bureaucracy (read Indian Civil Services) to push up or push down, and now sideways (!) tough issues needing unpopular decisions, to evade responsibility.
Air India’s problems are genetic in certain respects and emanating from mismanagement if one looks from a pure business angle. At least at this late hour, GOI may consider a comprehensive revamp of Air India with ‘Indianization’ and infusing professionalism in management as primary objectives.
For achieving the above objectives GOI may consider appointing a High Power Committee comprising the present and Ex-Maharajas of Indian Industry and allied sectors and experts from relevant fields (like Tata, Murty of Infosys, Metro Sreedharan, Dr Raghuram Rajan, Ambani brothers, CMs of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Parikkar and representatives from NITI Ayog...List illustrative), to study the problems faced by Air India and recommend solutions.
As India needs Air India, the sale of majority stakes should not be an option. External investment should be welcomed. India has adequate resources and talent necessary for making a quick revival of Air India possible. The committee will have to make recommendations on handling the present assets and liabilities of Air India, finding additional resources, all aspects of management issues and chalk out a plan to make the organization break even in a reasonable period.
M G Warrier, Mumbai

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