tata group: Air India people integration will be top on N Chandrasekaran’s agenda


Managing people at Air India and integrating them into the Tata Group’s work culture would be one of the biggest challenges for N Chandrasekaran during his second stint as chairman of the conglomerate.

During his first five-year tenure, the Tata Group registered an improvement in the performance of several group companies and also won a bid to own 100% stake in Air India that includes full ownership of AI Express and a 50% stake in ground handling company AISATS.

“Given that the Tatas have a very long-term view and patient capital, most of the challenges can be overcome, but people-related and expected hyper-competitive environments remain the most critical challenges,” said Kapil Kaul, chief executive at consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation in India.

He added that the “mood among (Air India)employees is very positive, which is a great beginning”.

Former HR head of Air India, NK Jain, too felt managing employees well will lead to a massive improvement in efficiency at the airline.

“To make the operations efficient, the group will need to do two key things — a transparent rostering system (for cockpit and cabin crew members) that would take away 40% complaints of employees involved in operations and improvement in processes that will reduce wastages and redundancies saving 15 to 20% of the cost,” said Jain.

Air India has 12,085 employees on its books and about 5,000 of them will retire in the next five years. The Tata Group will have to retain all employees for a year. If they are retrenched after that, it has to be through a voluntary retirement scheme.

Jain, who was involved in rationalisation in the number of unions at Air India, said the Tatas should focus on creating a structure, chains of command and put the right people on top to let the system run.

“There are very few people in the system who create problems at Air India and a large number of people efficiently do their job. Trick would to be keep people, who understand the system but would not manipulate it, as in-charge,” Jain added.


Source link