June 3, 2009

Idris Jala : Turned around an airline and plays guitar too

I was invited by Youthsay, an internet survey and advertising company which has membership for bloggers with age between 18 and 35. As I am still at the last threshold age, I managed to join before the window is close to me. Hence, I managed to get a seat for an event which was very unique. A talk and a very private Q&A session with the CEO Malaysia's national carrier, Malaysia Airline System, better known as MAS. The name of the guy is Idris Jala and he came from Borneo, another part of Malaysia which people always mistake for Indonesia and is known for its orang utan. He came from a small village which mode of reaching it is by flying in small Fokker plane by the name of Bario.

Idris Jala was an oil man before he was asked to do the impossible. He worked with Shell in various place in the world but the one place he kept on repeating was the work that he did in Shell Sri Lanka. He was very candid with what he did there and he feels that he already accomplished the impossible there. Politics, rebels, strikes and bribery was the order of the day when he worked there, he said. So, taking over an ailing airline like MAS which bleeds nearly a million Ringgit Malaysia a day (USD285k) per month was like an accession to a worse problem but was not something unnatural for him.

We were treated with a no hold barred session with him outlying his story of how he managed to make a company which had posted lost after lost each quarter to a company which make a profit every quarter since the second half of 2006. He also made savings and the savings that he made was nearing the RM1 Billion (USD285 million) mark in the next quarter. His presentation was outlined in 6 points and his first slide was about trying to conquer the impossible. It was such as high order and making it was a very significant cap in his career.

He put out a few philosophy which I think I better post in another posting tomorrow as what he says does make sense. I did not have a recording of his guitar playing which bordered toward the rhythm and blues which is kind of appropriate with him being said to be a failure and all before he managed to do the impossible. The lack of recording is also due to the MC asking us to not do any as they were doing a recording of their own. I think maybe we can expect to post them somewhere and I will update if I know where it is. For Malaysian, I know for a fact he plays his guitar occasionally at this one pub called Groove Junction in Hartamas one time or another. Maybe you can check him out there. I only have a picture of this airline's CEO playing his guitar, in which he played us 2 songs and 1 of it is about his village, Bario. And he was good....


life4hire said...

bro..i did signed up for the session too but didn't wake up in time for the function..if i knew you're going, i would have ask to wake me up..haha

kruel74 said...

Should have called me or message me

Jung Yee said...

Hi, I'm Jung Yee from Malaysia Airlines. Would like to share with you a link on a video of Dato' Sri Idris Jala's performance:


Hope you find this useful! :)

Join Malaysia Airlines Travel on Facebook for more videos to come!:D


kruel74 said...

Jung Yee - Joined and seen the vid. Thanks...

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