Comprehensive Case

MARRIAGE OF TWO INCOMPATIBLE INDIVIDUALS: AIR INDIA & INDIAN AIRLINES

Eleven years ago, on March 19, 2007, then Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel, announced his mega plan of being a game changer in the Indian skies by merging the state-owned Indian Airlines (then a profitable venture) and the perennial loss-making Air India.

The consulting firm Accenture recommended the merger with the plan to create a monolith and spread its dragnet under the cloak of the ubiquitous Maharajah, the mascot of a hospitable Indian king, across the nation and the world. But March 19, 2009—ironically on the same date—a parliamentary panel declared the merger a big failure, saying it had only messed the state carriers. It ...

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