Air India prepares for a cultural shift


The national carrier will shift from a PSU culture to that of a corporate culture in anticipation of privatisation.

Air India chairman, Ashwani Lohani, has informed its employees to be ready for a shift in corporate culture as the airline is on its way to privatisation. The airline will be shifting from a PSU setup to a private setup with change in ownership of the company soon.

The work culture in a PSU and a private company is different. And when the company ownership and mode of operation changes, it requires change in the work environment and the work culture, where only the best leads and gets better deals.

The chairman in a letter to the employees writes that “These are changing times and any change, despite being inevitable, is always hard to accept. Ownership changes that we expect at Air India would also lead to a change in the working environment and the work culture. The complexities of working in a PSU environment would get replaced by a corporate culture, a culture in which merit would get a better deal.”

Further, he writes that privatisation should enable a full realisation of the inherent potential of the airline besides creating an environment that would indeed be conducive for all of them as they do their work with commitment and integrity. He says the wonderful team of Air Indians, especially the licensed personnel (including pilots, aircraft engineers and cabin crew) should therefore have nothing to be sceptical about.

The chairman asked the staff to continue working hard to increase the market share of the airline and assured that the issues of employees will be solved shortly.

Giving the reasons behind selling off AI due to a debt burden of Rs 50,000 crore, he writes “This huge debt has accumulated due to continuous losses over the years. You would, however, appreciate that unless a solution is found to this huge debt, survival in the long run is almost impossible and the proposal to consider disinvestment is a step in this direction. It is the firm conviction of the government that the process of disinvestment is only meant to make Air India a much stronger world-class airline… This would indeed be a win-win solution for employees”.


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