Why I Hate Vijay Mallya

12 05 2008

As I write this post, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) finds itself at the bottom of the IPL league table, having just won two of its eight matches. There are six more matches to be played. All indications suggest it may not be able to make it to the semi-finals, though mathemetically they still have a chance.


 Vijay Mallya, the owner of RCB has already started looking for scapegoats. He has sacked the CEO, Charu Sharma and replaced him with Brijesh Patel. He has gone public over the poor team selection carried out by Rahul Dravid, the Captain of RCB and Mr. Sharma. One of the reasons for sacking Mr. Sharma apparently is not playing Misbah – ul- Haq. Mr.Mallya has openly claimed that he selected  Mr. Haq in the second round of auction without consulting Mr. Dravid.


Venkatesh Prasad, the coach, too was about to get sacked. thanks to Mr. Dravid putting his feet down, that has not happened yet.Mr. Mallya has justified his actions as being the ‘corporate side of IPL.’


To put things in perspective, let us look at the some of the facts. Mr. Mallya has bought the franchise for Bangalore for ten years at USD 111.6 Million. The players have been bought through auctions and local selections for three seasons. As per the rules of IPL, through player transfers, players can be bought and sold every year.


In the business that Mr. Mallya has entered for ten years, he has sacked the CEO and put the Captain and Coach on red-alert after mere 20 days of poor performance. Is this a ‘corporate’ way of building a team? Is this what corporate leadership is  all about?


Yes, good corporations are results oriented. Performance and merit are the only criteria for selection and promotions. Accountability of senior management is important in corporations. But can you apply all these yardsticks on a 20 days’ performance of an outfit, that too, at the middle of its first season?


I am sorry, Mr. Mallya, you have got it wrong. If you were a true champion of corporate style accountability, why not start with yourself? Please come clean on the following five organization issues:


  • Are the roles of ownership and management in RCB clearly demarcated?
  • What is the role of the CEO? Did you communicate to the CEO what was expected of him?
  • Will you take responsibility for selecting Mr. Sharma earlier and Mr. Patel now?
  • What is the role of Mr. Martin Crowe, the Chief Cricketing Officer?
  • If Captain and CEO were responsible for team selection, why did you interfere and buy Mr. Haq? 

I think the angry outburst stems from something else, not corporate culture. he ongoing rout of RCB has hit  Mr. Mallya’s ego badly. He flaunted the ownership of RCB openly by being seen in each and every RCB match. Look at the TV commercial of the RCB, you will get the drift. There he is – Mr. Mallya hogging the limelight while the likes of Mr. Dravid and Anil Kumble are made to look like his bodyguards.


But, Mr. Mallya’s company has not put all the eggs in the RCB basket. Kingfisher and Royal Challenge are associate sponsors of ‘Rajasthan Royals’ team, which is at the top of the IPL tables currently. Kingfisher is the official airline and the sponsor of the umpires to IPL. So even if RCB loses, Mr. Mallya, the businessman does not lose.    


Mr. Mallya, you could be the king of good times when it comes to the spirit that comes in a bottle, but don’t you talk about sportsman spirit. To run a sports organization one needs to learn how to deal with failures with grace and fortitude. as is the case in the corporate world. True leaders show their greatness when the chips are down. They don’t demoralise their own people, who are proven professionals.


Mr. Mallya , you are a lousy loser.


And, please don’t  you give the ‘corporate way’ a bad name.


 – G. Mohan.




9 responses

13 05 2008

OOps your claws are showing , ..jealousy ?

13 05 2008

I wonder what you would do in Mr VJM’s shoes, with so much money and a reputation riding on it ? I think his conduct has been exemplary, patient, and dignified , … if he did’nt shake up the team,after 7 repeated disastrous perfomances, he would be a Wus!…like the author of this Blog.

13 05 2008
Animesh Basak

I entirely agree with Mr. Mohan’s views. No one can question the commitment people like Rahul Dravid and Venkatesh Prasad.By criticising such national heroes publicly, if anything, Mr. Vijay Mallya is undermining all the brand image related gains he has been hoping to gain from IPL.

IPL teams are at best project teams, put together hurriedly. Most of the players are from different countries or from different states in India. They have hardly played together.It takes time to fuse a team together.Some teams have managed to do it better than others.

But by going public on such a delicate process like team building, Mr.Mallya has done irreparable damage to his own team.

As the owner of RCB, he is within his rights to ask his players and team officials to pull up their socks. But how can you humiliate people like Dravid through the media?

Like, Mr. Mohan has said, this is not about corporate style accountability. This all about Mr. Mallya’s super-sized ego.

– Animesh Basak.

14 05 2008
Venkat Subramaniam

We all accept change over a period of time, whether we like it or not. Cricket is no different, the way one-day cricket evolved from 60-over games to 50-over games. The IPL is a very interesting variant of the present day 20-20 cricket. If the biggest positive force and brand of this cricketainment(not sure about the spelling)is King Khan, then Vijay Mallya with his recent reactions has portrayed himself as an absolute anti-thesis to Shahrukh.

Without undermining the positives of commercialisation of sports, the first signs of the bane of commercialisation were noticed during the 1990 Soccer World Cup in Italy. Inspite of the soaring temperatures in the month of June it was decided that most of the games will be begin at 2.30 pm in the afternoon (inhuman conditions to play soccer), as this would maximise TV viewership across the world (given the time-difference between Italy and other countries).

Sports since then has slowly moved from the domain of sportsmen to the domain of the corporates who advertise in the TV Channels. Today it is well known that Indian Cricket controlled by BCCI, is played more by brands like Pepsi than the cricketers themselves.

If Vijay Mallya’s recent reactions can termed as the ugly side of the very recently corporatised cricket, Shahrukh has shown us the way ahead, in terms of how this new form of cricket should unfold.

15 05 2008

Mr. Mallya & SRK are kings of different world . SRK needs to perform alone and wait for the viewers to judge the performance – the box office(most of them do not have any clue how to make a movie). Similarly in cricket the players needs to perform in front of thousands of viewers (majority of them might have only knowledge of playing street cricket)who comment on everything that is happening on the field starting from bowling change to field placing.SRK also understands that he might get a chance for retake but his players will not .In SRKs case uncertainty plays a major role without very little choice for risk mitigation. This could be the reason why SRK stood by his team while KKR lost 4 matches.

Mr. Mallya belongs to corporate world where substantial risk mitigation plans are made before any venture. Moreover a product launch is made after many trials and pilots whereas in the field you will get only one chance .

In the corporate world you can always find a scapegoat and fire him but in the world of performing art or sports you have no one to fire but only hope to perform better in the next show.

I feel its the mindset that has made all the difference between the two owners and please don’t forget that SRK also has a super-sized ego.

16 05 2008

King in Bad Times vs. King Khan

Tamal:- You and Venkat have both contrasted the behaviour of Mallya and SRK in the face of defeat. I agree that SRK has shown far more grace and possibly due to this, KKR’s performance has turned around.

But, Vijay Mallya is no stranger to sports or entertainment, which you have alluded to. He has personally been a race-car driver in his youth. He is a stud farm owner and is involved in horse races for many years. He used to sponsor the two major Kolkata football clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. He owns Force India- F1 team. He produced a Bollywood film “Rakht” in 2004, which sank without a trace. NDTV-Good Times is a TV channel promoted jointly with NDTV. He is not even new to failures.It is not a culture issue at all.

Vijay Mallya has lost his marbles. Probably, he needs to spend some time with his Guru or make a trip to Sabarimala.

16 05 2008

Mohan: The difference is between a professional and an amateur. Participating in sports or entertainment does not mean someone is making his living through it . Vijay Mallia is not known for his excellence of racing cars or for sponsoring football clubs or making films. Those are hobbies. For SRK or any professional cricketer film or cricket is not a hobby but means for living. There has to be a difference in mindset. Moreover we don’t know how Vijay Malliya reacted when he faced those failures as mentioned by you. May be in similar lines as he is doing now.

16 05 2008

Well said. Investing and sponsoring sports and entertainment is quite different from being a sports man or entertainment performer. As a performer, one has to face the public directly. Success or failure is how the audience reacts at the moment when you are performing. Your wealth or track record has no relevance at that moment.
In case of a failure, it is very difficult to isolate your own ego from the performance.

Probably, Mallya had never faced that before IPL. He identified himself too closely with RCB. When RCB failed, his ego got hurt badly. Hence, the extreme reaction.

22 05 2008

I was surprised to see the change in the RCB hoarding on my way to work. Earlier it had the stars of RCB wearing their Red and Golden attire gearing up for the Royal Challenge, gently pushing the RC whisky brand.

Now that RCB has no chance of making it to the IPL Semis, the hoarding has pictures of Shane Watson, Mohd Kaif (RR) alongwith Rahul Dravid, Kumble and Kallis (RCB). The hoarding also mentions Royal Challenge’s partners as Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Superkings, besides RCB.

Mr Mallya, wants to show even if RCB loses, RC and Vijay Mallya win.

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