Book Highlights: The Indigo story

Book Highlights: The Indigo story

A story of Indigo, the largest domestic airline in India.

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  • Gangwal, with a net worth of $2.7 billion in March 2018, went on to become the richest Indian American in the USA.

  • Keeping pilots in good humor is one of the biggest challenges for operators

  • Discount traveler believes in being treated like a VIP and takes certain privileges like clicking photographs of women crew members as part of their package. People love discount travel when it’s quality travel.

‘We have a challenge of getting talented people in this industry. For a country of 130 crore people, one shortage we have is talent,’

  • IndiGo’s on-time performance record fell considerably after the DGCA changed its methodology to measure this metric while SpiceJet emerged as the leader on this count.

  • the airline had to replace P&W engines on its 32 A320neo aircraft at least 69 times between May 2016 and November 2017. The problem, according to P&W, was due to a ‘knife edge seal issue.

  • When a man with a much bigger profile and experience was appointed as his junior, Ghosh was intelligent enough to get the message.

  • The key to IndiGo’s sustainability centers on three basic airline business fundamentals:

  • Air transport will and would continue to be defined by itself as the most efficient mode of transport

  • Break even in the airline business and especially for low-cost airlines takes between three to five years, so you need to stay focused on the business, and most importantly
  • Always listen to what the traveler wants from a service and give that to them.

The biggest challenges for IndiGo as with any airline are three;

  • the first being the cost of jet fuel and oil prices,
  • the second being competition, and
  • the third is credibility and reputation. All it takes is one air crash to wipe out five years of the reputation built to one’s credit.

  • I would like to believe that there will be a return of the Tatas in full-blown aviation and there will be a time when Air India will get exemplary leadership, government decisions, and strategic focus. So till then, I don’t see anyone except IndiGo being the most formidable transportation disrupter in the region.

Eleven Life and Business Lessons from IndiGo

  1. Dare to dream—and dream big.
  2. One can succeed and succeed big an ethical way.
  3. A partnership can work if it is a partnership of shared vision and shared values—not if it is just a partnership of convenience and connivance.
  4. Ultimately, a business has to be run on sound business principles to succeed.
  5. PR and gimmickry are no substitutes for real performance.
  6. Despite a great idea and market potential, a start-up must do its homework meticulously.
  7. Think ahead to remain ahead of the competition! Think like a chess grandmaster—a grandmaster visualizes at least ten forward moves. The current world champion Magnus Carlsen can think up to twenty forward moves.
  8. Be the game changer if you can be.
  9. Strike like a panther when opportunity strikes.
  10. Empowerment of people is key—one can’t be everyone and everything.
  11. Providence plays its own role, but don’t center your business strategy around it.

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