Radia Tapes: 126 - Radia, Surojit (09:46:37)
Duration: 00:08:54; Aspect Ratio: 1.250:1; Lightness: 0.081; Volume: 0.247; Cuts per Minute: 3.927; Words per Minute: 185.135
Nira Radia- Yes Surojeet!
Surojeet- Hi, how are you?
Nira: I am ok. He's been offered; he is not gonna take it. Don't ask, don't mention it because basically at the end of the day Jadhav Patel met him, -whatever his name is Jadhav - Ya or -
Surojeet- Ya ya..
Nira- He met him and asked him and you know, as far as...There are so many ills of the airlines...ye tum likhoge to nahi
(you will not going to write this, are you)?
Surojeet- Haan ekdum likhenge (yes, will write, of course)
I am writing an edit on how Patel has screwed the airline.
Nira: Yeah, so basically now what they trying to do all the deals they are made, they trying to ratify it by having someone like Ratan Tata there.
Surojeet- Just to...
Nira- Yeah, you know...instead of getting...it's been...basically what have they done?- They've done bilaterals, they've given away with the asset from the airline.
Nira- Their attempt was to asset-strip the airlines so that two carriers would benefit na
, So given the thankfully their economic downturn cause them a problem also, otherwise ye
airline ko bech dete
(they would have sold the airline).
Surojeet- Hmm, hmm, hmm.
Nira- So now they are trying to bring Ratan Tata in to show the Prime Minister- ki
(that) they're gonna do something...to wo to nahi kar rahe
(he is not going to do it) he is not stupid na
... He knows that Patel is using him to ratify his own deals that he's done, na? Toh wo to nahi karega ...wo to mujhe nahi lagata ki
(then, he will not do it, I don't think that) he is going to take it on, anything.
Nira: And I think the government's gonna, Prime Minister's gonna have to step in and take over the charge of national carrier.
Surojeet- Yeah, absolutely otherwise nahi hoga
(it will not happen).
Nira: You can't leave it to Praful Patel, I think if you are writing then you should write na
how he's screwed up the airline.
Surojeet- Nahi nahi
(No no), I am doing. I am doing for next week, I am doing of how he played the whole bilateral game, and how he...gave right to the - I was waiting for the figures I have got all the figures, I mean how Etihad was, Etihad airlines was nowhere three years ago now it is fourth largest airline in India. Then Emirates, we got some very interesting figures like in 2004 when he came, -there were 2.5 million seats given on the Middle East route now it is 7.5 million.
Nira- Yeah, And one other thing is the time of disinvestment when Air India was disinvested, -the most intrinsic value of Air India was its bilaterals, barring the... hangerage and of course the ground handling and all that they had. Now even that's open. With the privatization of airport is open to all...
Surojeet- Yeah ...
Nira: Question of that having any value no longer applies 'cause they've got old equipments now. So at best what the value of Air India becomes is real estate which is what these two private carriers want. Unko tho
hangerage chahiye na
so this (inaudible) (They want hangerage -inaudible-).
Surojeet: The asset was essentially bilateral and hangerage.
Nira: But no it was ground handling, it was MRO, it was all their backend engineering capacity including the hangers and space in Mumbai. ...but now with the privatization of airport that all changes, you see?
Surojeet: Yeah yeah....
Nira: In any case ground handling and MRO is now open to all...so they're destroyed - The very people who are now trying to revive the - revive Air India gave away the bilaterals, destroyed its value.
Nira: Remember that the forty MPs that opposed the disinvestment of Air India and this thing- included Praful Patel and Sharad Pawar. It was Sharad Pawar that wrote to Vajpayee saying - why are you not allowing Naresh Goyal to bid for Air India so...
Surojeet: Hmm hmm. Achha
he wrote a letter, is it?
Nira: Bahut purani
, Surojeet, use
dig karne me mujhe
It's a very old letter, Surojeet, to dig it out I'll)...I will have to go into storage. Itna time nahin hai.
Surojeet: Achaa achaa
Nira: But it is there, it's on record and I can assure you...nothing will...you will not be quoted wrong on it. And why was he not allowed. And these are the very people that are...there are today trying to...so called trying to put up a facade that they are trying to revive it. At that time the debt of airline was 3,000 crore in '98.
Nira: Taken it up to 14,000 crore and uh... -you know, they've taken it up to 14,000 crore, what is left? Huge huge huge orders... What are they gonna do with these airlines, when the bilaterals have been given away to everybody else and there's competition.
Nira: And then don't forget to write about the merger.
Nira: I mean what...What good was the merger? It has only increased the problems. In fact what you should have you done, which is what the earlier government was trying to do was divest ground handling, divest um....this thing, MRO, so they could became the separate profit centers. Divest meaning Air India, Indian Airlines would still would have equity in it, and they would've still been in the majority player but divest it so they coulld have become separate profit centers and convert Air India, Indian Airlines into a virtual airline operation which is what is done the world over.
Nira: These are the very people that opposed it. They stopped these facts and the SIEC deal happening, you remember?
Surojeet: Yes, absolutely.
Nira: And then they brought in middle men like Deepak Talwar and everybody else to do deals for them on bilateral.
Surojeet: Get all those bilaterals from Middle East.
Nira: Yeah,yeah...so he worked to a conspiracy of the Middle East carriers -to destroy the national carrier, successfully, pura
asset-strip kiya hai
(the whole airline has been stripped in this way).
Surojeet: Aur abhi badi badi baten kar rahen hain logon se
(And now he's talking big).
Nira: Arrey ab kya
(What can we do now). What he is trying to show now that he is turned it around?
Surojeet: I am going to get a CEO, I am gonna - all rubbish, ya!
Nira: Nobody can turn this airline around, if they ever want anything to do they should bring Sunil Arora back. He is the only -
Surojeet: Only guy who can. Yeah absolutely.
Nira: Nobody else can do it. Nobody in the...you know, he is the only one who brought uh...profitability to Indian airlines in many years.
Nira: Yeah so it was pretty much of a mess yeah...kya ye log
(these people) toh
Ratan Tata is not stupid fool, he is so...he will just write and tell them that he is not interested. Woh jab aayega
letter toh main tumko bhej dungi wo abhi
(When he returns I will send you the letter)...he is in Israel right now.
Surojeet: We can say he is not going to accept.
Nira: I think you should say that you know he is unlikely to, given that in his previous tenure as chairman of Air India, he went through a traumatic time. The same lobbies had worked against him to ensure that he didn't get Air India at that time, had worked against him even on the domestic airline. And I think that, you know... that and he is far too occupied he's got his own businesses today to run.
Nira: You can write that yeah. Kya bhai ye log pagal log hain
(What are these people, they are mad)
Nira: TOI bhi kar raha hai ye
(TOI is also doing this) story I am telling you, just letting you know. Ye log bhi ek
centre spread kar rahen hain pura Air India pe
(These people are doing a centre spread on Air India).
Nira - Pata nahi kab kar rahen hain, abhi inhone likhna shuru nahi kiya lekin mujhe
call aayaa tha kal ki
please, help kar de
(I don't know when, they've not begun writing it, I got a call yesterday saying please, help out). So I said that I am so caught up in my own this thing, but whatever some little pieces I know I let you know...that's why. But Jadav gaya tha
Ratan Tata ko milne ke liye han
(But Jadav went to meet Ratan Tata)...
Surojeet: Achha achha
Nira: He had gone to meet him on the request of Praful Patel.
Nira: Praful Patel himself should have gone and asked Ratan Tata.
Surojeet- Hmm, hmm.
Prime Minister ko jake puchhna chahiye tha ki
(Should've asked the Prime Minister), why should Ratan Tata?
Surojeet: Ramadorai ka nam bhi liya ja sakta hai
(Ramadorai's name can be taken as well.)
, I don't know Ram will take it, you know I don't know. I mean, his independent capacity if he wants to take it that's up to them
Nira: But I think the Tatas feel I mean, at the end of the day, these were the very people who tried to stop him coming into the airline sector, And had they come today this would not have been the case of Air India.
Surojeet: Eventually they will get a Sam Pitroda, useless fellow like that.
Nira: Kya hoga, kuchh nahin hoga
(Nothing will happen).
Surojeet: Woh kuchh nahi karega wo faltu ka, bade bade
lecture marega yahi sab hoga
(He won't do anything, he's useless, he'll just give some big lectures.)
Nira: They need an operating guy, they need man like Sunil Arora back.
Surojeet: They will get the CEO from some fiang
(foreign) place and say we have got -
Nira: Kya karega woh,
Air India union ko
(What will he do, handling the Air India union) you know what is like na
, No firang
is going to be able to handle that.
Surojeet: He'll run away after one year.
ok then, take care, bye...