Home Enterprise Solutions Boosting revenue, efficiency aim of hackathon: CEO

Boosting revenue, efficiency aim of hackathon: CEO

AirAsia Group chief executive Tony Fernandes says he has just one criterion by which to measure the success or otherwise of the hackathon that his company is hosting in Kuala Lumpur today: whether it yields ideas that lead to a boost in revenue or efficiency.

The hackathon, under the name AirVolution 2017, brings together 20 teams from a number of Asian countries, to code a solution to a problem put forward by AirAsia.

In response to a query, Fernandes told the media this morning that he had no idea of expanding the hackathon to also include a general section for students or others.

The idea of having such an event was to bring digital solutions to bear more and more on an airline which he claimed was a pioneer in using digital means to grow.

He said AirAsia was the first to do bookings only through the Web, among the first to indulge in expanded use of social media and wanted to continue to on the path of being what he called a digital airline.

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Tony Fernandes: bringing digital solutions to bear on AirAsia.

He said the IP developed during the hackathon would be owned by AirAsia, adding that he was open to the idea of licensing it to other companies down the line.

Asked whether the process of continuous digitalisation would lead to job cuts, Fernandes said he was not inclined to go down that path.

He said, in part, the hackathon was decided on to also educate his own staff that they could use digital tools to do their own functions much better.

In this connection, he mentioned the case of his own communications department which was using the same data that it had earlier to do much by making others know what they were doing.

As to what could grow out of the hackathon, Fernandes said one possibility was the creation of incubators to help grow some of the ideas that came out of the event.

Asked about the cost of hosting such an event, he said it would come in below half a million ringgit (below A$146,332).

The writer is attending the hackathon as a guest of AirAsia.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.