Tata Sons chief Natrajan Chandrasekarana has been appointed as the next chairman of Air India. The Tata Sons board on Monday approved Chandrasekaran’s appointment for the top job. The salt-to-software comglemorate had announced Turkey’s Ilker Ayci as the chief executive of Air India, but he turned down the offer after his appointment drew flak from right wing outfits.
Mr Chandrasekaran is Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of more than 100 Tata operating companies. He joined the Board of Tata Sons in October 2016 and was appointed Chairman in January 2017, becoming the first non-Parsi and professional executive to head the Tata Group.
He also chairs the Boards of several group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – of which he was Chief Executive Officer from 2009-17.
His appointment as Chairman followed a 30-year business career at TCS, which he joined from university. He rose through the ranks at TCS to become CEO and Managing Director of the leading global IT solution and consulting firm.
In January, the goverment officially handed over Air India to the Tata Group. Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said the group is very happy to have Air India back in its fold. After a competitive bidding process, the government had on October 8 last year sold Air India to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Group’s holding company.
The Tata group now plans to expand Air India’s network, modernize its fleet, spruce up its customer service and make it the world’s most technologically advanced airline, Chandrasekaran had recently said while addressing the airline’s employees. Improving Air India’s basic service standards, on-time performance, issues related to passenger complaints and customer call centres will be top priorities in the coming months for the group.