Sunday, October 16, 2005

" Dreams of Wings ".

The weekend was at home in not so complete recluse though,thanks to the global outage and no extra hours at work.Saturday read something and did some prep work and also did some shopping (jeans,sneakers and others).This was pending for long and I found something that I was looking for.Sunday was at home and read something,completed some pending coding and office work.The entire evening was reading something before we all went for dinner to a South Indian restaurant.

This week I was contended also because I got to read about someone who had a vision and has achieved it by the dint of his determinion. So I title this blog as " Dreams of Wings ".I keep a regular tab on the newspaper and magazines.Even after office hours spend about half an hour scrolling various news sites.There has been a persona (a persona not a person) about whom I had thought of scribbling for sometime and he is Capt.Gopinath ,CEO Air Deccan.My definition of a visionary : Someone who understands the common masses and tries his best at an achievable level.Someone who brings in hope and as is said hope brings in the abilityto achieve miracles . Definitely there are impediments,but perhaps that only serves to make success all the more sweet. Capt.Gopinath fits into my bill of visionary seamlessly without doubt.

Capt Gopinath is a person who would not bend down under adversity and resistance and being a former air force officer ,apparently realised that flying was the business he knew best.In a recent interview he said he never intended to compete with premimum airlines like Jet Airways.His objective was for a new and different market and he introduced the "low fares no frills"air travel to remove the social and caste barrier to flying.There was a barrier of rich and poor,the sophisticated and the rural,which is broken today bringing in tectonic shift in the Indian consumer behaviour.

His plan of action was simple.If in the emerging India flooded with young middle class andlower middle class confident as never before and ready to deliver the world,companies likeSamsung,LG and P&G can post double digit growth quater on quater,why not an airline ?He visited to the remotest of the villages on his helicopter and when he saw TV antennas sticking out of small mud huts,he decided that the emerging India was not about one billionhungry people,but about "one billion hungry consumers".I admire him for his simple logicand reasoning.With a flurry of premium airlines, Indian cities such as Delhi,Mumbai,Bangalore,Pune,etc are already well connected.In a growing economy to sustain a double digit growth and to cater his services to common masses he brought small towns and cities into the air travel radar.He also adopted the popular cartoonist R.K.Laxman's "Mr.Citizen" as his logo to symbolise he stands for Indian people in general.The ticket fares are affordable and there are no frills on board of the airline.

In 5 years from a single aircraft to twenty two aircrafts and flying more than 4 million passengers by the end of this year (half of what Indian Airlines achieved in 50 years) clearly signifies the paradigm shift brought about by this simple common man.
There are lot of challenges in the form of poor infrastructure but he being a true entrepreneur is not waiting for a change and he is himself an agent for change.It also brings to my mind a simple quote from NDTV "Suruwat tau karo baadleega INDIA".

Dreams are to be followed with a die hard commitment and there will be opposition and at times you feel insecure but then thats life. I have felt this myself but that feelingof insecurity peppers your zeal all the very more.This I have learnt and seen first hand in my small stint of 3 years so far in Bangalore.


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