Anil Thakraney on 9 reasons why KFA must shut shop

22 Feb,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Dr Vijay Mallya is in no mood to entertain talks about shutting down his messy airline. He is a proud man, and it would hurt his pride if his pet project got killed. But there’s no place for ego and emotion in business, every die hard dhandhewala knows that. Here’s why I think it’s better to ground Kingfisher Airlines Limited (KFA).


1. Dr Mallya doesn’t get this business at all.


2. Running an airline is not the same thing as running a liquor company. Or sailing on a private yacht. Or anchoring Page 3 parties. Or owning an IPL cricket team.

Totally different sets of rules apply.


3. Kingfisher’s continuing crisis has badly hurt Dr Mallya’s own image as that of a man who can do no wrong. This is damaging his credibility as an industrialist.


4. Because it’s a brand extension, the airline’s very poor image in the market could harm UB group’s cash cow beer brand, Kingfisher Lager. It’s not a risk worth taking anymore.


5. Even if Dr Mallya decides to run KFA as a totally low cost, zero frills airline to slash operating expenses drastically, it will backfire as this strategy doesn’t gel with the stated brand position of ‘Good Times’. So it makes no sense to be around from the marketing point of view either.


6. The huge inconvenience and financial losses Kingfisher has been causing to thousands of flyers across the nation because of cancelled flights will have seriously eroded brand preference. And this situation in the hospitality industry has a cascading effect. Loyalty once lost is very hard to gain back. Just to give you can example: GoAir once cancelled a flight I was booked on at the nth hour, and I have sworn never to touch them again.


7. The KFA staff is highly demotivated. I don’t even want to discuss the ramifications if the airline’s maintenance engineers don’t do their jobs with care.


8. There’s not much hope in his son and heir to the throne, young Sid Mallya. The way he dives into verbal clashes with aggrieved KFA flyers on Twitter is a clear indication that the dude does not fit in with the service business.


9. Dr Mallya doesn’t get this business at all.


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PS: Not a very recent commercial, but a must watch in case you missed it. Super one from Playstation. Fantastic understanding of the target audience, and totally exciting creative.




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One response to “Anil Thakraney on 9 reasons why KFA must shut shop”

  1. jammy says:

    Had it been a successful airlines, people would have written otherwise. People comments change like their underwear, so it doesn’t matter what they think.
    VM started a international standard airline out of nothing, its business afterall it has its ups and down. No businessmen in the near future can start such high quality airline service like KFA in india. Even if KFA flies only 10 aircraft it would still be the best indian airline.
    Mallya has already made many bankrupt wineries into profitable million dollar business, so he doesn’t need any one certificate to prove his credibility as a business.
    A business is a business whether its airline or liquor, if someone doesn’t understand this, then he doesn’t understand business at all.