Idris Jala – MAS – True Market Recognition

23 Jun

After many years of reading Broker’s Call, in the Business section of the Saturday Star, today I finally saw a buy call that was being made not on some short term deal (like it is always) but on long term fundamentals. Both MAS and MRCB had BUY recommendations but both for different reasons.

MRCB like all other companies had a buy because of an impending deal:

SECOND Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop was quoted as saying that the Butterworth Bus Terminal Complex, owned by Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, would be developed by Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB). The complex, reported to be worth about RM100mil, is expected to be completed in 2010.

On the other hand look at what analyst were valuing in MAS:

A new code-share deal should dispel growth concerns over the national carrier in financial years (FY) 2008 and 2009. There is talk that one of the top three China-based airlines would soon announce a comprehensive code-share deal with MAS. In addition, MAS is the first government-linked company to make public its succession plan.

We are also heartened that the group’s managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Idris Jala has outlined a succession plan involving 100 key executives who would be tasked with continuing the airline’s recent impressive performance even in his absence. Idris stated that he had filled 70% of the 100 key positions needed to ensure a clear succession plan, as well as to encourage MAS’ best talents to consistently perform at their best.

Concurrently, with its Firefly community airline in LCC-clothing helping to drive costs down, MAS has a real life test bed for optimising costs.

I have to say see I told you so; read here. This is what I had said in my firefly post:

1. It’s is a very shrewed move as he protects his second most critical gateway should the skys open up in Malaysia

2. One of the best ways to learn how you competitors are competing is to try it out. I doubt Idris is trying to out compete Tony F but I think he is carrying out an interesting learning experiment. Penang is great as it keeps firely out of the clutches and contamination of head office in KL.

3. Succession development: I think you will see a young team cutting their teeth in firefly to prove this leadership abilities in preparation for succession into MAS.

4. Even if the analyst were correct and the venture did loose the Rm2 – Rm 3 million, it would be a small price to pay for a very big experiment.

I am really glad that we have in Malaysia a real life example of how to do transformation. And we should really take the opportunity to learn from MAS and what Idris is doing. Afterall, 24 months agl, people had taken MAS for dead.

In the same vein, Proton is salvageable. It just needs the right leadership that understands transformation and turnarounds. Seriously, when Man walked on the Moon some 37 years ago, Toyota was a joke of a brandwith a bad car with a bad reputation (cars made of milo tins.) Today they are no 2 in the world!

Its all about focus, clarity and processes.

Again, well done Idris Jala.


Posted by on June 23, 2007 in Leadership, Transformation


3 responses to “Idris Jala – MAS – True Market Recognition

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