Monday, August 25, 2008

Study In Contrast ...

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!

1 comment:

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