Air India’s advt circular: Should public service enterprises ask employees to promote brand?

Air India has already placed an order for around 8,500 stickers and the airline argues that it aims to save money by avoiding the need to print ads again and again.

Written by Kanishka Singh | Published:October 18, 2016 12:18 pm
air india, air india airline, air india employees, air india advertisement policy, AI employees, air india advertisement, AI airline, AI advertisement, india news, indian express The national carrier has been struggling with massive losses for over a decade and current CMD Ashwin Lohani has implemented a slew of measures in collaboration with the government to bring the Maharaja back on track.

In an uncharacteristic move for an Indian public service enterprise (PSE), Air India has put out a circular to all of its employees asking them to paste stickers of Air India’s print advertisements on the rear windshield of their cars. While the airline says the strategy is aimed at brand promotion, a simple question comes up in mind – should a PSE ask all its employees to put the PSE’s promotional material on their personal vehicles?

The circular for the same was sent to Air India’s offices across the globe to all of its nearly 22,000 employees. While the circular asked employees to paste the material on their vehicles, the department heads have been told to conduct surprise checks on employees to check compliance.

Initially it was decided by a committee formed for Air India’s brand promotion and strategy that officers of senior manager and above pay grade, who claim fuel reimbursements, will have to comply with the directions. Later the requirement spread to all employees.

Air India has already placed an order for around 8,500 stickers and the airline argues that it aims to save money by avoiding the need to print ads again and again. It found that it is financially more viable to use employees to promote their brand and its offerings to the public which is largely unaware of Air India’s services.

The national carrier has been struggling with massive losses for over a decade and current CMD Ashwin Lohani has implemented a slew of measures in collaboration with the government to bring the Maharaja back on track.

The carrier has a total debt burden of over Rs 52,000 crore. Air India posted operating profits for the first time in over a decade in the last fiscal and the operating profit is expected to be in the region of Rs 600-700 crore this fiscal. The management has put strict punitive measures in place for all operational errors or delays. However, this kind of a brand promotion is a first for Air India and any other PSE in the country.

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  1. J
    Jim
    Oct 18, 2016 at 9:45 am
    it is a correct and perfectly capitalist move. only jhollawallahs can have problems
    Reply
  2. A
    ashok dayal
    Oct 18, 2016 at 7:42 am
    It is very good thing. Employees are the best people to advertise their company.It also gives a feeling of ownership.
    Reply
  3. S
    santosh
    Oct 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm
    When PSU go sick they u cry Tax payers money , when PSU gets aggressive and professional you cry public service enterprise , give AIR INDIA a break guys. they cant put a sticker but they will evacuate Indians from war zone...why???
    Reply
  4. A
    Anant
    Oct 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm
    Excellent idea... The unions and employees should have come up with such proposals a long time ago...
    Reply
  5. C
    Chahat Thakkar
    Oct 18, 2016 at 7:55 am
    My opinion on news is that the writer needs to broaden its mindset. My opinion on the move that it is a welcome move and very late. PSE means, Indian public i.e. all citizens are stakeholders in it. Air India should not leave a chance to earn profit or improve its compeiveness. The earning of PSEs p on to their promoting Govt. The employees should be proud to be working in Air India. It is an opportunity that the employer is asking them to b the name on their vehicles. If employees are saddened by the move then they should not better work in Air India.
    Reply
  6. N
    NArayan
    Oct 18, 2016 at 8:57 am
    What is the problem?? They avail bonus even when AI is under loss....
    Reply
  7. N
    NArayan
    Oct 18, 2016 at 8:57 am
    What is the problem?? They avail bonus even when AI is under loss....
    Reply
  8. R
    rajkal
    Oct 18, 2016 at 8:57 am
    The idea of making B ambadors is a great idea.lt;br/gt;But this is not going to change anything at all. The cost of printing is an utter waste.lt;br/gt;Air India never compared themselves to a private company and see where the draw backs are and go forward for a break even company. Every airline and their uncle is making profit but Air India cannot. This is called hypocracy. Air India prices are high, they have 50% more employees to feed compared to other private airlines. How do you think it will ever make money.
    Reply
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