Its amazing how little it takes for the market-leader’s offering to become an also-ran. About six odd months ago if someone asked me about the best domestic airline, would be an equivocal answer – Jet airways. Their flights (usually) left the tarmac on time, service was courteous – both on the ground and in the air, food was palatable. It helped that its closest competitors struggled to get their planes off the ground and had a hard time figuring out where the next flight was off to.
So, I did my first trip on Kingfisher, and all the signed assertions aside, they certainly have raised the bar on air-travel in India. The ground-staff just that bit extra-smiley, the seats just that bit wider, the personal video screen just that bit unheard of. To complete the comparison, the return trip was on Jet Airways and it was brought home to me that the industry-leader didn’t necessary have to be doing anything really wrong to be left sputtering in the dust clouds of a brash new challenger. Nothing that every marketing text hasn’t already said. But it brings home the fact that, for business, inertia, is death. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Mr Mallya’s patience outlasts the time for his airline to come out of the red.
Week spent in B’lore, this time however, not on endless primary research runs, but meeting the new client and getting a first-hand account of their processes. The assignment, to find scope as we go along, and a long one at that, six months. Looked at a few service-apartments to call home for the duration. Dunno how this fly-back thing every weekend is gonna work, guess having that aiplane smell in your clothes is when you call yourself a consultant? Am guessing its more when I can claim to reel off every strategy framework/matrix/pyramid/4D hexagonal holographic analyzer that there is. Have two books on the immediate agenda; Re-engineering the Corporation – Michael Hammer/James Champy and Better Change – PWC. Of course, they come a distant 2nd/3rd to finishing the contractions of shoulder muscles by mythological persons called Atlas.
For now, four days of happy diwali!
p.s: The title is apparently a Kannada blockbuster from the 70’s starring the inimitable Rajkumar as regaled to us by our driver as we navigated the parking lots that are B’lore’s roads.