air india: Every TCS employee nostalgic of Air India, CEO Rajesh Gopinathan says
“Air India is quite a nostalgic airline for most TCS (employees). Almost all of us took our first international trip and we used to go with this (paper) return ticket and that used to be our airline safety card that if all else fails, we just had to get to an Air India office somewhere, and we’ll get back home,” Gopinathan told reporters after
in a post-earnings call.
“It’s quite nostalgic for us, and we will try to do our best to contribute in whichever form we can to revive it to the glory that it had as one of the best airlines in the world.”
Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd.
was selected as the winning bidder for Air India, ending decades of attempts to privatise a money-losing and debt-laden airline, and potentially ending years of taxpayer-bailouts that’s kept the company alive.
The salt-to-software conglomerate, which originally launched Air India Ltd. with a namesake branding in 1932, bid Rs 18,000 crore as an enterprise value for the national flag carrier. Tata Sons will acquire 100% of Air India and its low-cost arm Air India Express besides a 50% stake in ground-handling company Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd.
The government aims to complete the transaction by the end of 2021.
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“I think it (the acquisition of Air India) underlines the optimism in the environment. The nature of the transformation is possible (by) leveraging technology to make a big impact,” said Gopinathan “And we are the leading provider of technology services to the airline industry globally. We’ve seen this kind of resilience in this customer segment over the last two years.”
Airlines have revised their projections in the aftermath of an industry-crippling pandemic and expect growth to come at least a year or a year-and-a-half faster than projected, he said.
“Airlines have shown remarkable capability to right through this crisis, and in many cases we are seeing that their expected return to normalcy has come forward by 12 to 18 months. So if it took about six months back or nine months back, many of the airlines were talking about returning to normalcy in that 2024 kind of a timeframe,” Gopinathan said.
“They’re using this opportunity to significantly change the customer experience and to streamline operations and invest in that new level of technology that could deliver that experience to both customers. It’s a very encouraging sign of how sometimes crises can trigger change, which is beneficial for decades.”