AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes shares some secrets to his success with UPM students

19 Apr 2016 / 21:25 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Never be afraid of failure because it is part of life's experiences and will prepare you for the worse, AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes told Universiti Putra Malaysia students.
Sharing some valuable advice to the UPM students and staff as part of the Higher Education Ministry's CEO@Faculty programme, Fernandes revealed that if he was afraid of failure then he would not have made the bold move of purchasing AirAsia in 2001 and successfully transforming it into an industry airline player.
"At that point, everyone including my wife laughed at me when I informed them of my plan to start a budget no-frills airline after a successful career in the corporate and music industry.
"However, I hold strongly to the philosophy of if one has the wants to do something then he or she should just do it and true enough I managed to achieve my childhood dream when I bought over AirAsia from DRB-Hicom in 2001," he told a packed hall of UPM lecturers and students today.
During the session, Fernandes also pointed out that they should always explore other opportunities when they come to you instead of always looking out for what others have done.
"For example, after the Bali bombing in 2002 everyone was afraid to travel to Bali and airlines even removed it as their destination but seeing it as a golden opportunity, I offered some 5,000 free seats and that gimmick worked as not only all the free seats were taken up, everyone seems to have forgotten about the incident," he said.
He also said that for one to be a successful and effective leader, one must always go to the ground and be in their shoes.
"If one only knows how to sit in the office and make decisions then some time the decisions might be a bad one and this is what prompts me spending 50% of my time doing walk-abouts in the company to understand what my staff are going through on a daily basis," he added

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