In the staid suit-and-tie, diplomatic world of corporate India AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes' tongue-in-cheek comments on most issues come as welcome relief. From asking Indigo to sit, have a chapatti and engage with his airline instead of opposing it, the AirAsia chief hasn't been afraid to speak his mind on various topics.
Here's a list we put together of some of Fernandes' most memorable sound bites:
On rival IndiGo:
"I think if they were to sit down and have a chapatti and think about it properly, it makes much more sense to engage us and work with us and see how we have done in other countries to grow this market.On his mantra for dealing with competitors," he told CNBC-TV18.
On working with Ratan Tata and company:
"It is a fantastic experience working with him, although I have not gone to bed with him," he isquoted sayingThe Economic Times.
On his failed joint venture with Japanese airline ANA Holdings:
"I am sure you met many men. You thought he was a good guy but realised he was a complete disaster. So the relationship didn't last. ANA was like that. It looked like one sexy woman - really nice - said all the nice things. And when we got to bed, it was a horrible experience. So we had a quick divorce." - ET
On his mantra for dealing with competitors:
"When an airline comes into Malaysia, I compete, I don't try and block them because it's a waste of energy. Put people first and let people decide. The days of monopoly and cartels have gone," he's quoted saying in Times of India.
On the prettiness of women not dictating where the airline flies:
"I don't make business decisions on how women look," Fernandes told CNBC-TV18 when asked about his comment on flying to the North East because the women there were pretty.
On his unorthodox business model:
"Employees come number one, customers come number two. If you have a happy workforce they'll look after your customers anyway" - BBC
On the mindset of most airlines across the world:
"I think airlines have been very much parrots. They'll just follow what everyone else is doing. Why change a model that they're happy in? And it takes someone like myself or Richard Branson who comes from outside the industry to say, hey, let's try something new," he told CNN.
On the conflict of having Manchester United as a sponsor:
"Actually I hate Manchester United. It was a very painful decision to sponsor them. But we all have to be a prostitute once in a while. I sort of side for West Ham United which is a great training ground for adversity, 'cause they're always doing badly. But you know, hey, they're the biggest football club and the biggest brand, sports brand." - CNN
On what entrepreneurs should do:
"Life's about trying and live the day. If you fail, you fail, but at least you don't want to sit there at (the age of) 55 and say 'I should have done it.' That's the worst feeling. You can't go back in time. So my best advice is go with your gut, give it your best bet and you may fail but don't give up," he told INSEAD Knowledge.
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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 10:08:40 IST