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Wednesday, 21 March, 2018, 14 : 51 PM [IST]

The High-Flyer - Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo

Sometimes simple rules are enough to infuse growth in a business, and this is true for IndiGo. Having stuck to its basic business model of offering low fares and flying on time, IndiGo has emerged as the most aggressive airlines in India today, connecting each destination on its route network with multiple frequencies. Moreover, the LCC has posted consistent year-on-year profits after having break even, and has emerged as a tough competitor to other players, including established airlines, in the Indian aviation market. All this have been achieved under the able leadership of Aditya Ghosh who has emerged as one of the promising airline heads the Indian aviation market has ever produced. TravelBiz Monitor recognises Aditya for his astute business sense and impressive leadership skills to put brand IndiGo in the green year-on-year.

For a private airline to stay on top-of the game consistently is a no mean feat in a highly competitive aviation market like India. While the credit of such a performance is a result of coordinated team work, the business acumen to run an organisation of such a scale requires leadership of a certain firmness and finesse. Aditya Ghosh is one such name in India that has made low-cost air travel a regular affair for many by making IndiGo a leading player in the aviation market. Having joined the airline in its formative years at the age of 28 as Legal Counsel, he went on to head the carrier as President at 32. Today he not only successfully runs the airline, which has managed to give a tough competition to its contemporaries, including some of the established full-service airlines, but has also expanded its route network and aircraft fleet to unprecedented heights. The surprise announcement by Rahul Bhatia to elevate Aditya to the President’s post in 2008 turned out to be a fortune-changer for the airline for he proved to be the right man for the job at the right time. Aditya’s unflappable spirit has helped the airline face many a challenge and turbulence in recent years. It is his sharp mind, hunger to grow and employee management skills that makes IndiGo scale newer heights.

Aditya started his career as Executive Assistant to Lawyer Jyoti Sagar in 1998, after he impressed the legal eagle with his analytical thinking. Soon Aditya started handling important clients giving legal advice to organisations like Glaxo Smithkline Beecham, PepsiCo, World Bank, and InterGlobe Enterprises being one of them. It was the year 2004, when Rahul Bhatia was launching his low-cost carrier IndiGo, and appointed Aditya as its Legal Counsel when he was just 28 years old. This role came with a lot of responsibility because IndiGo was in talks with Airbus for buying 100 A320s, the biggest order the Indian domestic aviation market had witnessed at that time. Aditya proved his astuteness in handling the deal, and understanding all the figures being bounced at him. These were his formative years in the aviation space without any B School background. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Delhi.

Four years after the launch of IndiGo, its Founding President and CEO resigned, and Rahul Bhatia announced Aditya as the Acting CEO. Within 8 months of this development, Aditya proved himself and was elevated to the post of President in August 2008 at the age of 32.

Having taken over the operational and management control of IndiGo, Aditya has ensured the airline remains highly competitive. It is his aggressive approach which makes IndiGo consistently rank on top for its on-time performance and deploy multiple frequencies per destination to capture the market. In one of his earlier interviews, he had said, “The simplicity of the model is what drives its efficiency. I am not saying we are doing rocket science. But in the same market, during the same period, in the same circumstances and same opportunities, you cannot name another airline with one type of aircraft, or another airline which is consistently profitable or… believes in the opportunity in India and orders aircraft.”

After it broke even in 2009, IndiGo has returned to profit year after year. Having listed the airline in 2015, IndiGo’s revenue has grown by 16% CAGR. While the former CEO of IndiGo, Bruce Ashby was created a strong base for the airline, Rahul Bhatia and his Co-Founder Rakesh Gangwal have been instrumental in creating a vision for the airline and offering complete support and creating a conducive environment for Aditya to function. This has only benefited Aditya who uses his legal knowledge and analytical skills to operate IndiGo, which today enjoys a substantial market share in the aviation space. All this coupled with work life discipline and dedication to his team drives Aditya. His employee-friendly approach and communication skills have only benefitted IndiGo. Pushing the envelope further, Aditya now wants to expand IndiGo’s fleet to 50 ATRs and expand the airline not only nationally, but even reach long-haul destinations. For Aditya, the excitement and the challenges have just begun.

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