Air India chief Ashwani Lohani on Monday told airline staffers to cut down on ‘petty courtesies’ and focus on work. In a note, he said that a large number of employees abandon work to receive and see him off during visits to AI offices across the country and inundate him bouquets.
“I have noticed that bouquets are invariably presented to me in my capacity as CMD (chairman and managing director) in various functions and also whenever I visit a station of an office. I have also noticed a large number of staff waiting at the airport to receive me or see me off,” read the note.
Lohani clearly has had enough of it.
“This culture has to end. Emphasis in the organisation has to be on work and work alone and not on petty courtesies. While bouquets shall be a big no from now on, only minimal officials should receive or see me off at airports,” the note said.
Lohani responded to HT’s text query on the circular with a smiley.
In a bid to inculcate professionalism in the airline the management had recently stopped flight crew from being paired with their spouse, siblings and children on same flights.
But the CMD’s note took many Air India’s staffers by surprise.
“Even in the recent past when the airline was on a cost-cutting spree we have seen on-board crockery change with change in the top. Hopefully the move would end the “ji-hazoory culture” in the company,” said a senior AI official requesting anonymity.
Sources said that Lohani’s move was similar to the way the airline’s founder JRD Tata ran it. “He meant business. Even if we had a complaint against the airline all we did was come to work without wearing a tie. He would immediately notice and address the issue,” said a former employee from the ticketing department who did not wish to be named.