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Seemanto to pilot Air Sahara

July 10, 2006 09:30 IST

Seemanto Roy, the younger son of Sahara chairman Subroto Roy, is back in the cockpit of Air Sahara following the failure of the proposed sale of the airline to Jet Airways. He is being assisted by Alok Sharma, the company president in charge of day-to-day operations.

The responsibility of the airline business is an addition to the Amby valley project in Seemanto's portfolio. His elder brother, Sushanto, looks after the city home project and the media and entertainment business. Subroto Roy looks after the group flagship - Sahara Financial Corporation.

The division of responsibilities is in line with the restructuring of the group by Ernst & Young, the consultancy firm, which had advised the Sahara group on the airline sale.

E&Y had also advised Sahara on professionalisation of the family-run group, which is engaged in more than 30 businesses. In a move, which was interpreted as a "succession plan", the two sons of Sahara chief Subroto Roy - Sushanto and Seemanto - have been playing a larger role in the group.

Seemanto is now busy in formulating a future course of action for the ailing business with Alok Sharma, with E&Y advising them on this.

After the announcement of the country's largest deal in the aviation sector, Rono Dutta quit the company. Dutta was the functional chief of Air Sahara.

Air Sahara has also entrusted E&Y with the job of reviewing the airline's existing business plans, which guide it on capital requirements and other strategic decisions.

Meanwhile, Air Sahara is planning to strengthen its teams in core departments like information technology, engineering and operations.

"We are planning to recruit more persons in these departments. More routes will be announced in next two weeks. Our immediate focus will be on maintaining on-time performance," an Air Sahara source said.

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