Got to give it to AirAsia’s Tony Fernandez for his farsightedness and shrewd business acumen. Fernandez had planned ahead to use Lakshmi Mittal in expanding his Tune Group empire into India. To get close to Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, Tony bought over Queens Park Rangers (QPR) F. C. football team. Mittal owned 34 percent stake in QPR Team and his son-in-law, Amit Bhatia was on ithe team’s board.
Tony Fernadez had eyes on Ratan Tata too. For this he befriended Narain Karthikeyan. Tata sponsored Narain in Formula 1 and Tony too owned a F-1 team – Caterham. It’s through Formula 1 racing that Tony met Narain and who then introduced him to his sponsor Ratan Tata in 2005.
Air Asia entry into Indian Civil Aviation industry fell in place with AirAsia owning 49% in the India venture, Tatas taking 30% and 21% is with Arun Bhatia (Father of LNM’s son-in-law) of Telestra Tradeplace. By the way – Arun Bhatia’s 21% stake is more of LNM’s Benami Holding.
Smart cookie this guy – Tony Fernandez is!