Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes who is know as Fernandes was born in Kuala Lumpur on 30 April 1964. He is the founder of Tune Air Sdn. Bhd., who introduced the first budget no-frills airline, AirAsia, to Malaysians with the tagline “Now everyone can fly”. Fernandes managed to turn AirAsia, a failing government-linked commercial airline, into a highly successful budget airline public-listed company. He has since founded the Tune Group of companies. He is also the majority shareholder of Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
At a young age, he would follow his mother who sold Tupperware at Tupperware parties. He was educated at The Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur. When he was at age 12, he studied at Epsom College boarding school in England from 1976 to 1983. He matriculated to the London School of Economics and graduated with a degree in accounting.
He worked very briefly with Virgin Atlantic as an auditor, then he became the financial controller for Richard Branson’s Virgin Communications in London from 1987 to 1989 before he joined Warner Music International London as Senior Financial Analyst. Fernandes was admitted as Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 1991 and became Fellow Member in 1996. He is currently a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
Fernandes was formerly a Warner Music executive in Malaysia, and Vice President, ASEAN at Warner Music South East Asia from December 1999 to July 2001. When Time Warner Inc announced its merger with America Online Inc., Fernandes left to pursue his dream of starting a budget no-frills airline. In September 2001, Fernandes purchased AirAsia and became its chief executive.
In year 2003, he lobbying our former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to propose the idea of open sky agreement with the neighbouring country such as Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore to take advantage. He then successful gain landing right to AirAsia and other discounted carriers. In year 2007, Fernandes involve his business in other industry by establish no-frills concept hotel chain, Tune Hotel. He also expand his venture by involve in reality tv series in 2013 which is “The Apprentice Asia” in year 2013. In year 2004, AirAsia joint venture with Shin Corporation. Tony Fernandes achieve no. 52, in Fast Company Top 100 Most Creative People in Business.
B. ROLES OF MANAGERS
i. INTERPERSONAL ROLES
Interpersonal roles is the manager’s responsibility for managing relationships with the organizational members and other constituents. The three interpersonal roles played by the manager are figurehead, leader and liaison.
Figurehead is managers need to perform some works that are especially events in nature such as appear at community function. Fernandes launched his memoirs, Flying High, a look back at his journey from music man to airline man in 29 October 2017. The book was unveiled at a star-studded affair at Marini’s On 57 in Kuala Lumpur, in the shadow of the Petronas Twin Towers.
Leader is managers must work together with their employees to achieve their goals. Fernandes do a ‘walk around’ management style. He works on the ground or in the cabin crew every month for a few days.
Liaison is managers define the activities for individuals and group works within the organization and develop favourable relationships with the outside constituents. Fernandes says that his employees always come first before his customers. He believes when he treat his employees happily, his employees will take care of his customers.
ii. INFORMATIONAL ROLES
Informational roles is the manager’s responsibility for gathering and disseminating information to the stake holders of the organization. Informational roles include monitor, disseminator and spokesperson.
Monitor is manager will identify the internal and external environments of the organization to get useful information and from the information they can detect opportunities or threats for their organization. Before Fernandes made decision to introduced new route, he will monitor the market if already be serve well or not such as Bhubaneswar-Chennai route.
Disseminator is managers will distribute the information they get to make sure their employees have information to do their work efficiently and effectively. Fernandes told his employees that Chennai to New Delhi route have been serve very well, so they introduced another route which is Bhubaneswar-Chennai route.
Spokesperson is managers must always communicate with individuals that are outside of their organization. Fernandes got the title of FORBES ASIA’s 2010 Businessman of the Year and Forbes named him as a “single, charismatic pioneer” because of how he speak. When he speak, even the layman can understand.
iii. DECISIONAL ROLES
Decisional roles is the manager’s responsibility for processing information and reaching conclusions. Decisional roles include entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator.
Entrepreneur is managers initiates project that capitalize on opportunities that have been detected such as developing new services. Fernandes made strategic vision to make AirAsia as the largest low cost airline.
Disturbance handler is managers can handle the problems that are arise. When the tragic loss of AirAsia QZ8051, Fernandes quickly fly to the same destination to meet with the families of the passengers and staff and continues gives support for them.
Resource allocator is manager can make decision which project will receive organizational resources.
Negotiator is managers can negotiate the employees, suppliers, customers, or other work group because when the manager negotiate the employees, managers can ensure that they doing the right work to achieve the goals. The tragic loss of AirAsia QZ8051 might made many passengers be nervous about flying with AirAsia but Fernandes does not explain what has happened because his priority is his customers. This action helps the customers to maintain and increase the trust for using service by AirAsia.
C. MANAGEMENT SKILLS
i. CONCEPTUAL SKILL
The ability to process a tremendous amount of information about the internal or external environment of the organization and determine implications of that information.
For example, Tony Fernandes develop foresight which he can succeed to beat his competitor by providing first budget no frills airline. He avoid the problems by taking an action before something bad happen. He always plans for AirAsia future of opportunity that they can take or threats that they have to face.
ii. HUMAN SKILL
The ability to work effectively with one’s own and work group as well as others within the organization.
For example, Tony Fernandes build a good relationship with his staff which can create loyalty towards the company. This can make the organization achieve the goals easily. Fernandes make his workspace in open place where nobody does not have their own room including himself. He make that plan of workspace because he want his employees to contact him or walk up to him any time easily.
iii. TECHNICAL SKILL
The ability to utilize the knowledge of tools, techniques and procedures that are specific to a particular field.
For example, Tony Fernandes did not know about the airline industry at first but he develop his talents, interests, abilities and dreams to enter the airline industry. He was willing to take the risks and finally he made the AirAsia into a profitable airline in just two years.
D. FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT
Planning is including the managers must set for their organization goals and how to achieved it.
For example Fernandes wants to make AirAsia as the biggest low cost airline in Asia even AirAsia was in a huge amount of debts at that time.
Organizing is involves the managers to organize the tasks that should be done and how the tasks will be managed and coordinated.
For instance, Fernandes divide the employees by specialization of works such as pilots and engineers.
Leading is managers must be capable to lead their employees do their group works so that they can achieve their goals.
Fernandes says employees always come number one and customers come number two because when the employees have a happy workforce, they will look after his customers
Controlling is the managers must monitor the performance of the organization and the progress in implanting strategic and operational plans.
Fernandes adopts a ‘walk around’ management style. He said that he learned a lot by work on the ground in the cabin crew every month for a few days.