Friday, June 27, 2008

India------ low cost= satisfaction

Indians have a habit of starting ventures enthusiastically and loosing steam half-way through. We have the BMWs/Bentleys etc coming into the country with no roads to drive them on. Hell we have cars and no road discipline. Indian industry still believe that if the consumer is given goods at a cheap price- safety & service can be compromised. The Indian consumer too is oriented to think that once I get something at a reasonable cost its a sin to ask for decent service and safety. Case in point:

1) Indian Airline Industry: it exploded with low cost airlines coming into the picture to replace train travel. Wonderful. The Indian middle class had access to flying like never before. What we have forgotten over the past few years is that-

a) Our airports are not in a position to handle air traffic- infrastructure, manpower and expertise wise. There are animals roaming on the runway and new international route airports are perfect for smuggling goods into/out of the country.
b) Saw a documentary on Headlines today which said there were 40 pilots found to be drunk right before they were to fly. These figures are from Jan-June 2008. What is more scary is that the minister of civil aviation when asked what he felt about this issue dismissed it as a petty matter. Petty? Wonder if we can have an alcoholic pilot flying his planes.
c) Pilot crunch in the sector leads to pilot fatigue. TOI this morning reported that both pilots on a Jaipur-Mumbai flight slept off and overshot the destination. They were half way to Goa when they woke up.
d) Have heard rumors of the Delhi ATC going off-line for about an hour and a flight landing at Chennai and taking off while still in motion because there was another plane on the runway....

All airlines btw have declared losses this year. Flights have been canceled to quite a few destinations. Laloo must be smiling to himself.
Let's wait till a plane crashes into a big mountain, maybe then we can have sober and rested pilots, operational ATC and animal less runways.........for a little while at least.

Coming soon----Telecom Industry


Geeta Bose said...

Satya, low cost airlines are the same every where in the world. At least each of these aircrafts in India have 3-4 faces visible! (It's a different matter that they are quite useless!)

While I agree that Indians are the most "santust" and tolerant about poor customer service, but if you analyze it objectively, our biggest problem is the size of our population! With such a huge population any space, any policy, or any service is just too small and falls short. Even big airports start looking like a bus station...Having said that, this should not be an excuse for not getting things right!

Satyajit said...

I don't quite agree with both points.
Low cost airlines have shoddy service as far as ticketing, loosing luggage etc is concerned. I would rather prefer that than drunk pilots and non-existent ATCs.

Even with our huge population we have ample manpower, natural resources and intelligence to make it work. The only things missing are the will and accountability.

The best example of a success story will be the Delhi metro....and remember he did it in DELHI