A couple of months ago, Air Mauritius elected a new Chairman in the person of Mr. Kamal TAPOSEEA, who is a Multi cultural banker with legal education background, who has beenCEO of KAPPA FORTE ASSET MANAGEMENT, G M of Al Rajhi Financial Services Company, Regional M D of STANDARD BANK, M D BARCLAYS BANK PLC, President, Non-Financial Services BRITISH AMERICAN INSURANCE Head of M.E.D.I.A.
Executive Chairman DST International, Singapore
Director & General Manager – CEDEL BANK, Luxembourg
Commercial Director – J.P. MORGAN
Assistant Vice President, Euroclear and now Chairman of the Board of Directors AIR MAURITIUS.
Married he is father of a 21 year old son and a 19 year old daughter.
In a word to tell you that he is bringing to his new assignment qualities forged in that long and unusual diversity experience, an experience needed by our flag carrier at this juncture.
But is the place right? Folks, if you have been reading or listening to some of the public debate about our national carrier, you must be forgiven for thinking that MK, together with the STC are the biggest producers of the nation’s economic ills. And our friend Manoj knows something about it.
In fact, Air Mauritius has maintained solid operational performance and held up well despite the global downturn. To appreciate the problems of MK, we need to understand the environment in which it is operating. Airlines with lower staff and capital costs are burgeoning around the world with plans for massive growth in capacity. Many American Airlines, which should have been declared bankrupt, are re-emerging from the comfort of their subsidized cocoon.
So, Kamal, good luck, on your tight rope. MK has survived thanks to state support. Now it has to be weaned off it. You are lucky that Manoj has already curtailed the Cadillac plans for top management. You have the painful task to shrink the operational costs by reducing the employees’ headcounts, compete with services of a world class airline like Emirates and still maintain your costs or join Sabena and Swiss Air or be on life-support as Al Italia. From your ejector seat, you have no excuse for ignoring the errors of your ways. Unless you re-focus on the wish of the customers and address the reasons of MK’s loss, our airline will join PAM-AM n TWA in the aviation museum.
We want Mauritius to be the number one place in this part of the world for enterprise and business. Air Mauritius can be that source of strength and contribute immensely to create that environment with ambition, passion and a good idea anyone can suggest.
For too long, the interests of MK and the nation have been portrayed as being in conflict. It will be part of your job to correct that image, help MK to reclaim the leadership role of Mk in the Mauritian economy and contribute to our economic resilience. MK should be the agent of hope. Fix what’s wrong with MK and you fix everything else.
We know you can make a real difference. So, best of luck.