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
    1. 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
      1. 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
        1. 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
          1. 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
            1. N
              NArayan
              Oct 18, 2016 at 8:57 am
              What is the problem?? They avail bonus even when AI is under loss....
              Reply
              1. N
                NArayan
                Oct 18, 2016 at 8:57 am
                What is the problem?? They avail bonus even when AI is under loss....
                Reply
                1. 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
                  1. R
                    Ramakrishnan
                    Oct 18, 2016 at 9:04 am
                    No question really arises. As usual media is searching for a conversant where there is none.
                    Reply
                    1. J
                      jugnu Singh
                      Oct 18, 2016 at 10:52 am
                      This is a great idea and if it helps Air India I am also willing to paste the sticker on my car...my only hope is that the 'Air Indians' should rise to face the compeion and not continue blaming 'merger' and opening of the sector to compeion as the reasons for their ills.
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        kumar
                        Oct 18, 2016 at 7:37 am
                        not a bad idea are promoting the organisation which is providing their livelihood
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          mlpandit
                          Oct 18, 2016 at 8:28 am
                          But are employees meant only to demote the b of their organizations? If yes, then PSU employees have been doing a good job by bringing their organisations on the brink of bankruptcy?
                          Reply
                          1. G
                            Girish Rao
                            Oct 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm
                            Jiska khaate hai uske gunn gaaney main kya probs hai...
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              rakesh
                              Oct 18, 2016 at 9:59 am
                              Seriously??!! This is not even a question. They are into business and have all the right to ask employees to promote b.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Roy
                                Oct 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm
                                Without improving on the service Advt. will make no sense.....no one returns back after a pathetic experience. Least they could do is stick to flight timings, but VIPs don't even let that happen. I had a terrible experience even while booking. Can't imagine what would happen for cancellations.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  swaminathan s
                                  Oct 18, 2016 at 1:36 pm
                                  t is moral obligation to promote for our own survival Go and see BSNL employees. They now work beyond office hours without Ogt;Twhat is wrong when we get all perqs from Air India and the job once threatened due to losses has been now settled Infact it is a cost saving method.
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    Manish
                                    Oct 18, 2016 at 10:08 am
                                    great initiative..if private companies distribute freebies among their employees with b name and logos, why cant PSU do that..
                                    Reply
                                    1. U
                                      Umesh Patekar
                                      Oct 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm
                                      Airline business even with optimum performance has wafer thin margin of profit. And compare this to any mode of transport. Auto, taxi fares have been at least increased 4-5 times in last 15 yrs on account of inflation. But look at the airfares reaching new low figures every year. Many sectors tickets don't even pay for fuel cost. Yes more the people fly, govt gets more taxes, private airports get more and more fees per pax, landing, parking charges, what airline gets is more maintenance, regulatory costs and more expectations and so more complaints.lt;br/gt;I feel unless ticket are hiked - not just during Diwali or New year, no airline will have sustainability.
                                      Reply
                                      1. V
                                        vish
                                        Oct 18, 2016 at 8:46 am
                                        This is a good initiative of cost cutting measure.What is wrong if Employees are made B Ambador,every company does that and every employee should be proud of his company .Because of all good work Air India has done turnaround and is in profit now .Keep it up.
                                        Reply
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