Tough action needed to turn around Air India, says Anand Mahindra; prescribes 5-point plan

With the Government’s effort to privatise Air India eliciting no response from prospective bidders, Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra group, has called for a tough action to turn the government-owned airline around.

The business magnate posted the comment on his Twitter handle soon after the government said it has not received any bids for the national carrier.

“I think that zero interest in the sale has demonstrated to the people that tough action towards a turnaround is needed. There will be widespread support for swift and decisive action. This is a political opportunity,” Mahindra tweeted.

This in response to one of his followers commenting that he was asking the government to commit political suicide.

“Swift and decisive action would find widespread support,” he said. In a series of tweets, Anand Mahindra said that it was “time to turn a crisis into an opportunity.” He listed a few suggestions for the government in its effort to turn around the airliner.

According to him, the government should make a commitment to sell the national carrier, but only after turning its business around. A government official, with the potential and passion of India’s ‘Metro Man’ Elattuvalapil Sreedharan should be appointed the airline’s chairman and chief executive officer and the newly-appointed chairman should be given full autonomy, with only a turnaround target to work with.

With Air India eliciting no bids, the government will now have to return to the drawing board to tweak the key terms of stake sale exercise.

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