Pakistan International Airline Chief Human Resource Officer Ms Asma Bajawa resigned from PIA. In the official press release, the reason for her departure was given as personal. But PIA insiders say that the past few months had been really tough on her on a personal and professional front and with the change in management she realised things are not going to work and decided to leave. After the departure of CEO and President Musharraf Rasool Cyan she was under pressure from various quarters to budge on key policy points. In the official statement, it was mentioned that she “resigned from service due to personal reasons.” In hurriedly organised farewell party on 28 November at PIA head Office the President & CEO PIA, Air Marshal Arshad Malik appreciated the contributions of Ms Asma Bajawa, Chief Human Resources Officer PIA for the betterment of Human Resources in PIA during her tenure and wished her success in her future endeavours. The party was attended by all Divisional heads and senior officials of the airline.
Prior to setting up PeopleFirst Asma was the HR Director for DU where she successfully led the launch of the company from an HR perspective. She then went on to work for Abu Dhabi Airports Company as the Principal Consultant working directly with the board to right size the company from 1200 to 650 employees as it transitioned from being a Government entity to a joint stock semi private company.
Her business acumen, enthusiasm and ability to understand and work successfully with different cultures has helped her to build a strong reputation across the region. She gained the respect of many senior executives and board members across a wide range of industry sectors in the government, semi government and the private sector. She has successfully lead large transformation projects and acquisitions by supporting organisations to manage people and change through an integrated approach.
Asma is well respected as an HR professional who successfully challenged and influenced the mafia at work in PIA. That is why she was not popular among the likes of CBA and unions who used to often come and threaten her in her office after the departure of Musharraf Rasool Cyan. Her ability to raise HR’s profile in numerous organisations is a testimony to her understanding of how HR really adds value to a business. That is exactly what she did at PIA and truly became the first proper HR person to work for the airline.
Asma is a Fellow of the CIPD and has an MBA from Kingston University in the UK. It is really sad that such thorough professionals came back to serve this country but one way or the other they were forced out. Asma also realised that with the change in government and management things are not going to be the way they are supposed to be. She also saw that the new managers are trying to do is employ all regimental things. It’s not her cup of tea. She realized that though all is good right now, she won’t be continue like that for long.