AirAsia India on Monday moved closer to getting off the ground by appointing S. Ramadorai as its Chairman, ending months-long suspense and having in place the entire top management team.
A day after getting Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata as the chief advisor, AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes on Monday announced the name of Tata Consultancy Services vice-chairman S. Ramadorai as the chairman of his proposed low-cost airline venture.
Subramanian Ramadorai was also formerly the chief executive of the country’s largest software exporter.
“I would like to confirm Ramadorai as chairman of AirAsia India, a giant of Indian industry, and man from the South,” Mr. Fernandes tweeted.
“That completes our team. Advisor, chairman, CEO and the board. Quite a heavyweight team for super exciting AirAsia India,” Mr. Fernandes posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Mr. Ramadorai is the fourth person from the Tatas to hold a position in airline joint venture after Ratan Tata as chief advisor, and R. Venkataraman (former executive assistant to Ratan Tata) and Bharat Vasani (chief legal counsel of the Tata Group), who are directors on the board.
AirAsia India is a joint venture of Air Asia, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace with 49:30:21 holding.
On Sunday, Mr. Fernandes had announced the name of Tata as the chief advisor to the board and promised ‘Nano’ airfares once it begins operating flights in the country which is likely by the fourth quarter of 2013.
“Persuading Tata to be advisor has not been easy. Critical, we have someone of his massive experience to help me chart AirAsia India with Mittu (Chandilya) and myself,” Mr. Fernandes had tweeted on Sunday.
Asked whether to expect ‘Nano’ price or cheapest air tickets from AirAsia India, Fernandes replied in affirmative: “Yes. It’s all about low fares. And everyday.”
AirAsia is expected to bring in competitive pricing in the Indian aviation market, once it begins service later this year.
“AirAsia India (is) shaping up brilliantly,” Mr. Fernandes said, adding that the company has got a ‘super CEO’, a good board and a great advisor who was “a legend in every sense.”
Last month, Mr. Fernandes had named Mittu Chandilya as the CEO of AirAsia India.
These two announcements come within a couple of days after Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said all the issues regarding AirAsia’s India applications have been resolved.
“All matters on AirAsia India have been resolved. The proposal has been sent to the Union Home Ministry for security clearance,” Mr. Singh had said in London.
As for the organisational structure, there will be an independent director on the board who would also be the non-executive chairman.
AirAsia will be represented by Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Bin Meranu.