Podcasts are an easy way to absorb information when you’re on the go, and many have turned to this medium to create or consume content. They’re used to share knowledge and experiences, host roundtable discussions, and more.
Now even AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is looking to get in on the action to expand his social media presence beyond Instagram and TikTok. He announced today that he’ll be launching his very own visual podcast, Talks With Tony.
It will be a place where he can share his thoughts and views on various issues through conversations with friends, colleagues, partners, etc. Some mentioned guests include Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am, UFC President Dana White, and producer and composer David Foster.
“I want to give listeners an opportunity to learn a little bit from me and get up close and personal with my dear friends, discussing not just the successes but also the failures, even the problems everyone is going through now dealing with COVID-19.”
“It’s going to be with people from business, my friends from the sporting industry, and obviously music because it’s been a large part of my life, as well as other prominent figures and entrepreneurs,” Tony said.
The 8-part series can be accessed through the Syok app from August 1, Tony’s podcast website from August 2, and other sites including Spotify, Google, and Apple podcasts from August 8.
Getting to know Tony better
Not much is known about what the first Talks With Tony episode will be other than personal, but one recent incident that’s been on people’s minds was the virtual town hall session.
In the meeting attended by some 500 people, Thai AirAsia CEO Tassapon Bijleveld had allegedly insulted a female employee using an expletive and telling her to “shut up”. It is still unclear what the real reason behind that interaction was, and much of what people saw was only a short viral clip of the meeting.
What people were ticked off about, however, was more than just that exchange. Many pointed out how the other seniors present, Tony included, didn’t stand up for the employee or speak out against Bijleveld immediately in the clip.
After much social media attention, AirAsia and Bijleveld apologised, but the damage has been done. Tony himself has so far clarified that the incident is not the type of culture they want in AirAsia, and that it was not sexist, saying that Bijleveld would’ve said the same to a male employee.
Either way, netizens are not going to forget this incident anytime soon, and Talks With Tony would present the entrepreneur with an ideal platform to really discuss brand reputation, strong and respectful management, etc.
However, Tony has said that he aims to have the podcast focused more on himself and his guests, and not so much about AirAsia as a company or business.
Starting small and simple
Talks With Tony won’t be monetised at the moment, and all 8 episodes in the first series will be free to access. In terms of product placement, Tony said that he hadn’t given any thought to it yet.
If the podcast gains enough momentum though, it could be monetised so that proceeds can go to chosen beneficiaries. Eventually, we may even see the potential of Tony doing a TV show down the road, since he expressed his interest in doing so.
One thing for sure is that Tony Fernandes is an outspoken person who doesn’t shy away from sharing strong opinions, regardless of whether people will agree with him.
Therefore, we would expect Talks With Tony to offer us an unfiltered look into his thoughts and incite discussion related to the Malaysian entrepreneurship scene, corporate culture, digital businesses, and more.
Love or hate him, he’s still an influential figure that has built AirAsia into the massive, global company it is today, and when he speaks, people will listen.
Featured Image Credit: Tony Fernandes of Talks With Tony