Reported widely recently was the plan for MAS to be delisted. This is a topic that I have spoken a few times with a few different people who said that MAS should restructure and should fire its management, should trim its staff costs, fly to more profitable routes etc. Truth is, all these do work to a certain extent but personally, the main theme should be ‘cut all ties’ and you have a chance to make a strong comeback. What do I mean by ‘cut all ties?’ Imagine your father started a business and it has been around for the past 50 years. He has been buying supplies from an uncle for the past 50 years. Recently, your father found out that the prices from the uncle is just not competitive and wanted to tell him but due to the 50 years relationship, it is hard. Solution? You can take over and YOU make that decision to renegotiate. That is what I meant by cutting all ties.
Over the years, MAS has carried way too many baggages. Too many staffs. How do you fire staffs who has been around through thick and thin? Even if they are not your best staffs, they have been around and you know them personally. Everyone knows everyone personally. Many a times, they were efficient then but as time passes, newer airlines became ever more efficiency, ever more competitive. For example speed. Are the staffs used to slower times from previously? Today, speed is critical. If your staffs started out right, they can continue easily but what if your staffs thoughts were, ‘been there, done that’ and refuses to change?
Over the years, MAS has signed many contracts which were not negotiated to its best ability. Most of the time, the negotiators know these companies that they were negotiating. Top management from both sides know each other. You would never be able to get the best deals when this is the case Don’t just look at MAS. Look at even companies whom you know. Even in my previous company, I have come across many developers who would rather conclude deals with vendors they have known over the years instead of the most competitive one.
Over the years, MAS has accumulated way too much losses that even paying for interest would meant they are not operationally efficient. Many decisions could not be made because no one dared to make decisions which would meant the restarting of MAS. How many top management you know would be willing to tell the company that the whole company would have to shut down and restart and that everyone surplus would be fired?
With this delisting, many things can be done. Everything can now be focussed on effectiveness and efficiency. After a careful evaluation, staffs needed who is able to continue the growth can continue while those who are no longer needed should get the right compensation and be asked to leave. The new management can then start everything afresh. They thus can ‘cut all ties’ and now, everything would be based on efficiency and effectiveness. New staffs would be told of how to operate in a new environment and will start right from the first day.
Make no mistake. MAS has been a very safe airline up till the current two incidents which both were not due to MAS’s fault. Their stewardess are one of the best in its class. (just look at their awards). MAS is my pride and will always be so. My standard policy has always been to take MAS as long as its fare is less than RM200 more than Air Asia for the comfort. Thus, I seriously hope this delisting would help MAS make a strong comeback.
written on 11 August 2014
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