Tony Fernandes and Airasia

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Early years
Born in Kuala Lumpur to a Goan father and Malacca Portuguese mother, Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes is the son of the late Stephen Edward Fernandes, and Ena Dorothy Fernandez. When he was young, he used to follow his mother, a businesswoman, to Tupperware dealer parties and conventions. He was educated at Epsom College 1977-83 and then graduated from the London School of Economics in 1987. He worked very briefly with Virgin Atlantic as an auditor, subsequently becoming the financial controller for Richard Branson's Virgin Records in London from 1987 to 1989.[1] Tony was admitted as Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 1991 and became Fellow Member in 1996. Upon his return to Malaysia, he became the youngest-ever managing director of Warner Music (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. Though an accountant, Fernandes is an amateur guitarist and also has achieved grade 8 piano which is where his musical inclination lies. He was responsible for revolutionising ethnic music, nasyid and dangdut, bringing them into the mainstream of contemporary Malaysian music. He subsequently became the South East Asian regional vice-president for Warner Music Group from 1992-2001. When Time Warner Inc announced its merger with America Online Inc., Fernandes left to pursue his dream of starting a budget no-frills airline. However, his application for a license from the Malaysian government was rejected. [edit] Launching AirAsia

It was through Datuk Pahamin A. Rejab, the former secretary-general of the Malaysian Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry that Fernandes got to meet up with the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in October 2001. AirAsia, the heavily-indebted subsidiary of the Malaysian government-owned conglomerate, DRB-Hicom, was losing money speedily. Instead of starting from scratch, Mahathir advised Fernandes to buy an existing airline instead. Fernandes mortgaged his home and sank his savings to acquire the company,...
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