Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and founder of JetSetGo Aviation, in an exclusive chat with G20, talks about her journey and how the Covid-19 pandemic affected her businesses.

Excerpts:

Q. You have been involved with the aviation arena since you were 17. How did JetSetGo unravel and evolve?
A. Well, the initial idea for JetSetGo came up in a conversation with a colleague in the UK. I narrated an idea that I had about setting up a thriving aviation company, born out of India, not aimed at making my colleague laugh out loud, but that’s just what happened. Being Indian and adamant, I was determined to prove him, and everybody else that thought along the same lines, wrong. Through analysing the market, I identified the two main concerns of jet owners across the nation: inconsistent service and the lack of return on investment. Thus, that’s when I realised the opportunity of making it more profitable and efficient to own a private jet by promising true end-to-end management — in the most cost-effective manner
possible.

Q. Yours is a private aviation company, where all do you fly to? How many planes in your fleet?
A. We fly to both Domestic and International locations subject to permissions. JSG has 21% market share of total flying which happens in India. We have dedicated fleet of 12 aircrafts and few others are on marketing contract with us.

Q. How has Covid impacted JetSetGo?
A. When the lockdown was announced starting from 25th March, we had no prior information to it and being into critical airlines business, we had no idea on what will happen or what the future holds for us as our operations were completely suspended during that time. Like every other commercial airlines, COVID has deeply impacted the private charter industry as well. We were facing regular challenges in terms of regulations, government approvals, man power, cash flows etc.  We revisited our strategies and processes and developed them into what the new world needs now.  Each and every point was mapped across the delivery process. Various mock drills were conducted to study the effectiveness of the SOP’s and corrections were made accordingly.

Q. As an icon & beacon to young Indian women, please share with us six pointers to become a rock star like you.
1. Brilliant businesses were not built on money, but on great people and great ideas.
2. Your customers are god — deliver what you promise. If you don’t, pick up the phone — say sorry and make up for it.
3. Use every ‘no’ as a stepping-stone to success. Turn every ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ through your journey.
4. Tears, blood, sweat are all part of the game — no one said it was going to be easy. Remember, there are no shortcuts.
5. Going lean will never go out of fashion — irrespective of whether it’s your money or your investors. Fancy offices, snazzy cars and big ticket spends never gets you customers. Watch every expense and focus on getting more than what you planned out of every rupee spent.
6. Communicate and be transparent — whether it’s your team, customers or suppliers.