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.


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