We go one-on-one for a quick hit of inspiration and information from Tony Fernandes who has helped to reshape Malaysia and the airline industry across Asia.
Tony Fernandes (Anthony Francis Fernandes) is a Malaysian entrepreneur and founder of the budget no-frills airline AirAsia. The cocnept behind the airline is summed up in its’ iconic tagline “Now everyone can fly”.
Born in 1964 in Kuala Lumpur, Fernandes is the son of the late Dr. Stephen Edward Fernandes,and Dorothy Fernandez. He says he got his entrepreneurial passion when he was young by folllowing his mother to Tupperware dealer parties and conventions. Fernandes was educated in the UK at Epsom College 1977-83 before graduating from the London School of Economics in 1987.
He rose to prominence by turning AirAsia a fledging government-linked commercial airline, into a highly successful public-listed company. Fernandes was also instrumental in lobbying the former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to negotiate open skies agreements with Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore to grant landing rights to AirAsia and other discount carriers.
Here is some of his advice for fledgling entrepreneurs.