Study In Contrast …Posted: August 25, 2008
The other day, i was flying Air India, and was reminded about the sheer contrast in the working style of companies operating in India. Let me write about this … one of them, Air India … solid government of India carrier, and the other, Airtel … shining example of private sector enterprise.
Air India, when you walk into the airport, is not the most shining check-in counter. The check-in can be quite an experience … they somehow havent quite gotten the hang of checking in maximum number of people in the minimum amount of time, though the check-in counter people can be nice, or surly depending on their mood. Airtel, on the other hand, is suave, swanky, the perfect marketing machine … your interactions with Airtel will get you thinking about the amazing effeiciency, etc., etc. …
Walk behind the facade, and the story is quite different. While Air India gives you good, rock-solid service with a smile within the aircraft (coupled with some of the smoothest landings you could get, and food which is excellent, too, at least compared with some other airlines … Kingfisher comes close … and, i remember reading an article by veteran journalist Jerry Pinto, comparing an experience he had with Virgin, and with Air India … few years back, though i cant find a link to it!), when it comes to Airtel, the service ends at the front-end. Behind the facade, its all about dropped calls, no network coverage (go anywhere, do anything, except in the heart of Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore …), and a call centre which has perfected the art of providing no service, and only apologies for lack of it.
Go, Air India!