IIPM Admission

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ahoy! Captain’s here!

Why Study Abroad When IIPM Gives You 3 global Advantages!


Confident & courageous, with a dream to make Airbus successful, Enders has stepped right into the cockpit. And he’s in good control!

RecallTHOMAS ENDERS, PRESIDENT & CEO, AIRBUS INDUSTRIE the Hollywood flick ‘Independence Day’ where the American President stands by his people till the end, against all odds, facing the alien attack. No, we’re not talking of a Hollywood success story here, but something more real. And don’t worry, there’re no aliens here. Airbus Industrie, the European aircraft manufacturing giant is, unfortunately, in a similar desperate situation, thus making an apt testing ground for any CEO who believes in ‘turnaround’ tales! Five CEOs in the past two years, delivery postponements of a year and aggrieved shareholders who’re craving to hear one piece of good news – that’s the atmosphere in Airbus at the moment. And the man who steps in the cockpit is Thomas Enders, the new CEO & President of Airbus Industrie. ‘Fly it until the last piece stops moving’ is what this man believes in and despite loads of criticisms, this man displays the grit and determination that any board of management would desire in its top leader. And the smile?! Well, it’s there on his face, perpetually! Enders seems to be that man whom Airbus was looking for. So finally, this fifth pilot seems to be in total control of the Airbus flight.

A German by origin, dressed smartly, with no tinge of Nazi arrogance in him, Enders humbly answered all questions shot at him... And just as we could not help but ask him whether he can foresee his exit soon, he just smiled! With confidence, he asserted, “Yes, it’s very challenging. But at the same time, I know that I am young enough to tackle such challenges. I am not going to leave soon; and you are going to see me around at the helm for atleast another 10 years. There’s much to do for me in Airbus.” That was impressive indeed and in a single statement, he said what many speeches would find difficult to put across. Having cooperation and partnerships with major companies worldwide, Enders predicts a bright future for Airbus in many countries, with new aircrafts, including Asia, and an increased focus on growing markets like India & China.

‘Don’t depend on your foes to commit a mistake, to gain one up on them...’ is what you might have heard people say, but here’s a man who actually follows it! When asked about the delivery delay in Boeing’s Dreamliner 787 range, Enders shared a piece of wisdom, “I am too new to comment on such delays of other companies but as a leader I can say the delay in deliveries of competitors do not disturb our strategy. We believe in deciding our own strategy depending on the need of the market.” True enough, Airbus secured orders and letter of intent for 290 Airbus aircrafts at the five day Dubai Air Show which commenced on November 11, 2007, amounting to about $60 billion! Airbus being a more commercially oriented aircraft manufacturer, did face a little setback due to the cancellations related to the delays in delivery of the A380 (estimated to be about $2.1 billion). But Enders modestly agrees that the delays in deliveries “did have an impact but it was not strong enough.” He also claims that “Airbus has come out with mind blowing aircrafts to sustain its clients.” He proudly adds that, “Our modern and comprehensive product line, along with our easy handling characteristics, makes us stand ahead in competition....” Throwing light on the intensifying rivalry between Airbus and Boeing, Enders seemed composed as he explained his strategy in a straight in India, he finds a lot of movement here as he confirms, “Optimism is very striking to me. We come from ‘old’ Europe where people are sometimes a bit pessimistic and see the negative things but here people are a lot into business. The future is bright. It can only get better with the ‘can do’ spirit.” He feels that if Airbus can deliver what its clients desire, it can “in that case, be a very successful and profitable company.”

Calling himself focused, Enders believes in the kind of ‘participative’ leadership that believes in teams; the one that is able to motivate people by setting clear targets, as he asserts, “We had a difficult time at Airbus recently, a lot of problems, and we lost a lot of money. There was a lot of frustration in all of us, so we decided that it was time to introduce ‘a can do’ spirit amongst our people.” With a global team of 56,000, he looks set to fly over paths where many past Airbus captains failed to tread.... Ten years, Captain; and we’re willing to wait... for we know, some things are worth the wait. Your promise is!
Romsha Singh

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