Happy birthday to Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, a figure that I really respect. And a Malaysian to boot. w00t!! That is like icing on the cake.
He revolutionized air travel in Malaysia. Now everyone can fly. How many of us have this under our belt?
He was recently named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. The entry on him, written by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, says: “People reveal their true selves in the worst of times. After learning that AirAsia Flight 8501 had gone missing, Tony Fernandes stilled the chaos by being himself – a family man and a business leader.”
For me personally, he reduced the miles and miles between D and me with only 2,000+ baht return flight ticket. Long waits between visits due to expensive air tickets did not bother us (that much). And now that I am based in Bangkok, it’s the same with my family back home in Malaysia.
For this, I thank him.
AirAsia and AirAsia X will always remain close to my heart, just like Airbnb. These brands revolutionize the way people travel.
Being a leader myself (of course on a smaller scale lah), I look up to Tony Fernandes’s leadership style. A lot has been written about It. I particularly like these quotes:
“Employees come number one, customers come number two. If you have a happy workforce, they’ll look after your customers anywhere.”
“You can have all the money you want in the world, and you can have all the brilliant ideas but if you don’t have the people, forget it.”
He has been known to search out new staff in queues. “I’ve hired many people at very strange places.”
I am firm believer in succession planning. “Good leadership is to know when to go and you only succeed as a good leader if you’ve transported someone else in and the company gets stronger. Then you’ve succeeded as leader.” Hear, hear.
Happy birthday, Tony Fernandes. Wishing you in six languages …
Selamat hari jadi, suk san wan gerd, sheng ri kuai le, sang yat fai lok, chúc mừng sinh nhật.