Master of Business Administration
Faculty / School
Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)
MBA Research Project
Abstract / Summary
Executive Summary Princely Jets is part of the aviation business owned by the Akbar Group of Companies. The organization is engaged in providing private charter services to individuals as well as other organizations, utilizing a fleet of jets and helicopters to cater to transport requirements. The purpose of this report is to assess the feasibility of utilizing Princely Jets' existing fleet of helicopters to provide an alternative service namely aerial emergency response with a focus on firefighting services in Karachi. They have already provisioned one helicopter to provide ambulatory care, and firefighting would be the next addition in their ambit of emergency response. To explore this business avenue further, Princely Jets approached the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi with a research project relating to the launch of an aerial firefighting unit with a pilot focus on the city of Karachi. The project was taken on by a group of MBA students under the supervision of the IBA MBA Project coordinators and Mr. Ghouse Akbar. The objective was to evaluate Karachi's fire management landscape so as to determine whether a business opportunity exists for an aerial firefighting and response unit. The project was broken down into 3 primary phases. Phase 1 is Problem Identification. In this phase, a blend of primary and secondary research was utilized. Extensive literature review was conducted to understand the degree of fire risk in Karachi, the competence of the City Fire Brigade and other fire management services etc. A Root Cause Analysis was conducted to explore high-profile fire events in the city to better understand the reason why fires break out so frequently. This data was then compared to similar research on 4 metropolitan cities - Tokyo, Portland, Dubai and Cape Town as part of a Country Benchmarking exercise, to get a sense of the kinds of facilities available in cities with similar characteristics to Karachi. Primary research by way of a Market Analysis was conducted. 17 companies in 8 industries were interviewed to assess safety culture, awareness of fire risk, focus on fire safety, and adoption of internal fire mitigation practices. The results of the secondary and primary research were combined to conduct a gap analysis, the conclusion being that there was a gap in the market for additional fire safety services. Phase 2 was Business Model Creation. After exploring aerial firefighting business models around the world and by understanding Princely Jets internal resources and competence, a Service Delivery Model and Financial/Business Monetization Model was prepared. Phase 3 was Market Dynamics, involving the concept testing of the business model and monetization plan developed in Phase 2. Assistance was taken from agencies in the insurance industry, which identified industries that have the highest risk for fire in Pakistan. These high risk industries plus certain industries approached in Phase 1 were contacted again, and a survey plus in-depth interview methodology was used to test the Princely Jets aerial firefighting business model. This Phase provided us with valuable insights, and the realization that at present, Karachi is not a viable market for launching an aerial firefighting service. While demographics, industrial and real estate development and lack of government focus or regulations on fire safety present a favorable picture, there is an inherent lack of safety culture and unwillingness in most companies to invest in anything beyond the most basic fire safety measures (i.e. fire extinguishers). This is one end of the spectrum - on the other end of the spectrum are organizations that have developed sophisticated internal fire management systems and so believe that they will not require any external support. Financial feasibility and market response indicate that at present, aerial firefighting is not a viable option. However, it is the recommendation of this report that Princely Jets adopt a standby or 'Stakeout' Approach. They must develop internal mechanisms and systems needed to deploy emergency response in times of emergency, and wait till the opportunity presents itself. Meantime, lobbying for government support, building a brand image of being a credible emergency service provider, attaining international accreditation etc. will be required.
Ahmed, A. K., Khan, A. N., Shaheen, A., Fatima, M., & Khalid, N. (2014). Princely jets - Aerial : firefighting (Unpublished graduate research project). Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan. Retrieved from https://ir.iba.edu.pk/research-projects-mba/70
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