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A reluctant Ratan Tata lured to AirAsia India by Tony Fernandes

Persuading Mr Tata to be advisor has not been easy: Tony Fernandes.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: June 17, 2013 1:11:22 am

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes may not have been able to convince Ratan Tata to become the chairman of AirAsia India but has managed to bring Tata on the airline’s board as chief advisor.

Fernandes announced the appointment through Twitter. “Persuading Mr Tata to be advisor has not been easy. Critical we have someone of his massive experience to help me chart Airasia India with Mittu (Chandilya,CEO of the India subsidiary) and myself,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Fernandes also tweeted that he will announce chairman of Air Asia India in the next few days. “Our chairman is someone who has redefined many parts of India. A towering man,who brings unbelievable experience to the AirAsia India board,” Fernandes tweeted.

Fernandes was keen that Tata,who is a keen aviator himself,take up the post of chairman. The former Tata Group chairman had been instrumental in the formation of AirAsia India,a joint venture between AirAisa,Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace and the Tata Group.

AirAsia India has also announced the representation of its board,which will comprise two members from the Tata Group,two from AirAsia and one from Telestra Tradeplace.

Tata Sons has nominated R Venkatraman,former executive assistant to Ratan Tata,and Bharat Vasani,chief legal counsel of the Tata Group,to the board. AirAsia would be represented by Fernandes and Kamarudin Bin Meranun,who are among the largest shareholders in AirAsia,while Arun Bhatia would represent Telestra Tradeplace.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board had in April cleared AirAsia’s proposal to invest Rs 80.98 crore in its Indian subsidiary,after which the company applied for a No Objection Certificate with the civil aviation ministry.

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