"Promise what you think you can achieve, but strive to deliver more"

SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh on what it takes to engineer a successful turnaround

Published 8 years ago on Jun 17, 2016 1 minute Read

Managing expectations: Be honest. Don’t sweep problems under the carpet or discount their gravity. Explain the problems to partners and employees and work with them to find solutions. Promise only what you think you can achieve and try to deliver more than you have promised.

Get back to basics: Many firms start well but get lost along the way. Re-evaluate your business model, see what worked for the company in the past and assess the deviations that may have diffused the focus and led to losses. In SpiceJet’s case, it was important to get back to doing what we knew how to do: ensuring that we stopped cancelling flights, that we flew on time, that our flights were safe and fares low. 

Change market perception: When the world has given you up for dead, it is important to show that you are alive. We had to ensure that our planes were in good shape and wouldn’t break down. We had to ensure that those who had booked a flight with us got to fly. Stories of our efforts also helped restore our brand and credibility.

Cut the flab: If there is anything that doesn’t add value to the company, it needs to be done away with. It is important to take a re-look at the business, at each and every cost item and contract. We have rejigged our network, cut out loss-making flights and added profitable ones.  

Focus on profitability: Nothing inspires confidence in a turnaround more than profits. It’s important to get the organisation’s focus on profitability, even at the cost of market share loss. It’s important to think out of the box, create new products and new sources of revenue, while looking for ways to enhance the core business.