Air India chief Ashwani Lohani has said the way the “merger” was carried out between Indian Airlines and Air India led to a “chaotic situation” in the organisation while “lack” of leadership added to its woes for which common employees were wrongly blamed.
“A merger that really never happened and in the process resulted in a chaotic situation is at the back of all ills that we are currently witness to,” Lohani said in a hard-hitting blogpost, where he accused people in the top slots of “gross failure” to look after the human resource while “cursing the organisation for its failure”.
The Indian Railway Service officer, who in September last year took over the reins of the government-run airline that is struggling with huge debt and losses, also said though Air India is now “slowly getting back on track”, a lot more needs to be done to bring back the glory of the ‘Maharaja’.
“It makes me sad when the common employee is often blamed for the ills of the organisation, in this case too, whereas the real reason for the debacle lies elsewhere, in my opinion on the head honcho,” Lohani said in the blog.
“An organisation is only as good or as bad as the head honcho, everything else is merely a symptom,” the chairman and managing director of Air India said.
Coming out in support of the employees, he said, “How can an organisation that loses no opportunity in deriding its own men and making them unhappy, find faults with them for lack of deliverance is what I have always failed to fathom.”
He also hit out at the bureaucratic procedures and the “procrastination that the company has of late come to specialise in”.
“Earlier I always believed that the great Indian Railways was the mother of all bureaucracies, but not any longer. Here at the national carrier the ridiculousness of the process and the diehard belief therein has been carried to a mind boggling extent,” he said in the blog.
“The mess is by no stretch of imagination a minor one, yet it has to and shall be sorted out…Turning around is not an attempt, it is a foregone conclusion, despite the plethora of handicaps and with this thought at the back of our minds, we are moving ahead,” Lohani said.
“Air India is now slowly getting back on track, yet it is still miles to go before one can relax and watch the planes fly, albeit without the need to constantly worrying and fretting,” he added.