Bhuwan's Ramblings

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Air India + Indian Airlines!!

Air India and Indian Airlines are going to merge ...

hmmm ...
hmmmmmm ...
and whats next?

A world class successful airline with a positive number in the profits column of the balance sheet!

so I wish.

The advantages of a merger have been known for time immemorial. The two airlines would have a larger network and can reduce their operating costs, but then why do most mergers around the world not succeed?

Lessons would have to be learnt from international experience in this regard. Many challenges lie ahead for the combined entity before the upbeat rhetoric can bear any fruit. No lay-offs, workers unions, difference in pay scales and work cultures is the tip of the iceberg before even the smooth functioning of the combined entity. The time taken to complete the merger would be another important factor, especially in a fast growing sector with ever-increasing competition.

A strong visionary leadership with a non-interfering supportive government is the key to the success of this merger. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I have been wanting to watch this movie for a while and finally got the chance yesterday. It was good to see a movie that was based on a person in modern India. Mani Ratnam lived upto the expectation of quality cinema as did the actors, primarily Mithun Chakraborty and Abhishek Bachchan. Madhavan's role, however, was left wanting for more footage (read charaterization).

The only part that I thought was a far cry was the comparison with Mahatma Gandhi. It is true that Gandhiji did not agree with the 'law' during his time, but he did not resort to cheating, bribing and corruption to work towards his goals of national integration against the british rule.

The general opinion about the business of Gurubhai (you know whom I am actually referring to) is very divided. He provided employment to a large number of people and contributed to the country's economy, which matters a lot in today's global structure. His wrongdoings were exaggerated because the traditionally rich families of the country could not control their jealousy.

I feel that one of the most important things is to analyze how he would have fared with today's liberalized policies? Today's businesses, for example the cellphone providers, get liberal policies, governmental support and greater transparency than 30-40 years ago. If Gurubhai were to start his business today, his zeal and dedication would have reaped greater benefits with less wrongdoings.