Top level exits at AirAsia India

DELHI: No-frills carrier AirAsia India has been hit by another wave of top-level exits. After the departure of chief executive Mittu Chandilya last year and, more recently, CFO Arun Khanna, five of its functional heads have put in their papers, people close to the development said.

The head of human resources was asked to leave, one of the persons cited earlier said, adding that the other four — Navdeep Lamba (head of security), Vidhu Nair (head of ancillary and cargo), Nantha Kumar (head of engineering) and G Sampath (director of engineering) resigned on their own accord. “Among the five, Lamba and Nair left the airline within six months of joining,” he said.

An AirAsia India spokesperson declined to comment. Chief executive Amar Abrol did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment.

Another person, who did not want to be named, said the next head of human resources at AirAsia India is expected to come from the Tata Group. “The Tata Group is looking for an HR person in its own group and is likely to depute the person to AirAsia India,” he said.

AirAsia India is a joint venture in which Tata Sons and AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia hold 49% each. The rest 2% is owned by two Tata Group executives — R Venkatramanan (1.5%) and S Ramadorai (0.5%).

A Tata executive as head of HR will give the salt-to-software Tata Group a bigger say in the running of the carrier, which is under the Enforcement Directorate’s scanner for alleged FEMA violation. The carrier’s current chief financial officer, Deepak Mahendra, was with Tata Power earlier.


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