Who Owns IndiGo Airlines? – WikiBio

Indigo Airlines owners Rahul Bhatia (right) and Rakesh Gangwal (left)

Indigo Airlines is owned by Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal of InterGlobe Enterprises. Indigo is the commercial name under which InterGlobe Aviation Limited conducts its business. Headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, IndiGo is considered as one of the low cost airlines in India. with market share of At 55.5%, IndiGo is India’s largest passenger airline as of January 2022.

Know about the owners of Indigo Airlines

Rahul Bhatia

Rahul Bhatia Indigo

If you reduce costs and improve efficiency, the runway is longer. — Rahul Bhatia

Rahul Bhatia is an Indian businessman who along with Rakesh Gangwal owns Indigo Airlines. Rahul Bhatia was born on 18 December 1955 in Nainital, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand), India. Rahul Bhatia is considered a pioneer in the Indian aviation business, having nurtured Indigo Airlines, a leading budget-carrier airline in India. He is the Group Managing Director of InterGlobe Enterprises and the Co-Founder, Promoter and Managing Director of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (Indigo). Rahul Bhatia is working as a Director in 15 companies in India. The companies it is associated with are involved in various industries such as hotels and restaurants, commercial services, ancillary and ancillary transportation activities, activities of travel agencies, education, other service activities, trade, transportation and warehousing, computer related services, recreational, cultural and sports activities, etc.



Rahul Bhatia’s father, Kapil Bhatia, is the executive chairman of InterGlobe Enterprises and serves as a director in 12 companies in India; These companies are from various industries such as finance, hotels and restaurants, real estate and rental, ancillary and ancillary transport activities, activities of travel agencies, transport and warehousing, business services etc.

Rahul Bhatia's father Kapil Bhatia

Rahul Bhatia’s father Kapil Bhatia

Kapil Bhatia had forayed into the travel industry long back when he started his career as a sales manager for an IATA agency. In 1964, Kapil Bhatia founded Delhi Express Travels, which later became a conglomerate of travel-related organizations. Rahul’s father worked as the Managing Director of Delhi Express Travels for more than 25 years. According to Rahul Bhatia, it was his father’s vision and able guidance that InterGlobe Enterprises grew from a single company to a very successful conglomerate. Rahul’s father has served on the Board of Directors of Andhra Bank Limited and Punjab National Bank and as the Chairman of the Tourism and Aviation Committee of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

wife and children

Rahul Bhatia is married to Rohini Bhatia who is the chairperson of InterGlobe Foundation, the philanthropic arm of InterGlobe Group. Rohini serves as a non-executive director on the board of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (Indigo) and as the chairman of IndiGo’s CSR committee. She also serves as a Director in 9 companies in India; These companies are from various industries such as computer related services, business services, real estate and rental, ancillary and ancillary transport activities, activities of travel agencies, transport and warehousing, entertainment, cultural and sports activities etc.

Rohini Bhatia, wife of Rahul Bhatia

Rohini Bhatia, wife of Rahul Bhatia

Under his leadership, the InterGlobe Foundation and IndiGo’s CSR have done some exemplary work in the areas of community development, heritage restoration and environmental protection. According to Rohini, she is passionate about heritage restoration and waste management, and for this reason a great example of her interest is the restoration of Rahim’s tomb in New Delhi.

Rahim's tomb renovated by Rohini Bhatia

Rahim’s tomb renovated by Rohini Bhatia

Rohini has a Diploma in Textile Designing. The couple has two children, a son, Arunanshu Bhatia and a daughter, Avantika Bhatia.

Education and early career

Rahul Bhatia holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, where he worked as an intern with IBM and worked on a project that pertained to setting up a fully automated screen manufacturing plant. According to Rahul Bhatia, traveling was not the first choice of his career. In 1964, his father, Kapil Bhatia, co-founded an airline agency, Delhi Express, with nine partners; However, after nearly two decades, the partners parted ways, and his father started as seed capital with the equivalent of $37,000. After earning an electrical engineering degree from the University of Waterloo in Canada, Rahul Bhatia returned to India in 1984, where he planned to set up a telecommunications venture with Nortel to build a digital telephone exchange, but his plan was to become the then Indian. Couldn’t work The government did not favor foreign technology. In an interview, Rahul recalled those days and said that after his plans to set up a telecom venture in India were rejected, he was drawn to a teaching career; However, at the suggestion of his ailing father to reconsider his decision, he decided to join the family business, InterGlobe, which he had joined in 1998. They said,

I wasn’t really ready to carry the baton. It was an emotional decision.” InterGlobe Aviation

According to Rahul Bhatia, the opening days were very bad. He says,

We were short of cash every two weeks.”

The young Bhatia looked for new opportunities, and in 1994, he led InterGlobe to snatch away the franchise of an airline reservation system, Galileo International, which was once owned by United Airlines, and InterGlobe introduced this airline reservation system in India. represented. In 1999, under the leadership of Rahul Bhatia, InterGlobe had a joint venture with Galileo, aimed at providing back-office services. Now, the venture has become a separate entity called InterGlobe Technologies, with a staff of over 6,000 people and overseas offices in China, the Philippines, Singapore, Dubai, the US and the UK.

Partnership with Rakesh Gangwal

Rahul Bhatia met Rakesh Gangwal, a veteran airline executive in the United States, and their growing friendship prepared the ground for Bhatia’s next leap, Indigo Airlines. According to old colleagues, Bhatia often talked about his dream of starting an airline that he wanted to name Indigo; However, Rakesh Gangwal was skeptical of the idea, and Bhatia had to wait until Gangwal agreed to partner with him. Bhatia says,

Rakesh was hesitant because of the high mortality rate in the business. But I am a determined person.”

Rahu Bhatia (left) and Rakesh Gangwal (right)

Rahu Bhatia (left) and Rakesh Gangwal (right)

Bhatia gives equal credit for IndiGo’s success to Gangwal.

Indigo Airlines – Bhatia’s Dream Project

Rahul Bhatia standing in front of Indigo plane

Rahul Bhatia standing in front of Indigo plane

In 2006, Rahul Bhatia co-founded Indigo Airlines as a private company with Rakesh Gangwal. InterGlobe held a 51.12% stake in IndiGo, while Gangwal’s Virginia-based company Calum Investments held 47.88%. Although IndiGo got its airline license in 2004, it did not take off until 2006. Bhatia appointed Bruce Ashby as the first chief executive of the airline; However, Ashby left the airline in 2008, and Bhatia then selected Aditya Ghosh to run IndiGo. Ghosh is a trained lawyer who had no aviation experience when he was hired to run IndiGo, although he worked as InterGlobe’s general counsel. Recalling the launch of Indigo Airlines, Aditya Ghosh says,

People said we were crazy not to launch with old, leased planes. But we didn’t want to leave any stone unturned in terms of quality.”

First Flight

In June 2005, IndiGo placed an order for 100 Airbus A320-200 aircraft, and it received its first aircraft on 28 July 2006. On 4 August 2006, IndiGo operated its flight service from New Delhi to Imphal via Guwahati.

largest passenger airline

Since its inception in August 2006, IndiGo has grown from an aircraft carrier to a fleet of 276 aircraft by 2022. Indigo Airlines is considered to be the largest passenger airline of India, with a market share of 55.5%. The airline primarily operates as a low-cost carrier in the domestic air travel market of India and is known for offering low fares, being on time and providing a courteous and hassle-free experience. As of 2022, IndiGo’s total destination count is 97, with 73 domestic destinations and 24 international ones.

indigo aircraft fleet

indigo aircraft fleet

Awards and Achievements

In 2011, Ernst & Young and The Economic Times recognized Rahul Bhatia as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’. In the same year, Bhatia received ‘The Outstanding Start-up’ award at the Forbes India Leadership Awards. In 2016, Rahul Bhatia was included in the Global Game Changers list of Forbes.

Rakesh Gangwal

Rakesh Gangwal

Rakesh Gangwal is an Indian American airline veteran who owns about 37 per cent stake in InterGlobe Aviation, the parent organization of budget airline IndiGo. Born in 1953, Rakesh Gangwal attended Don Bosco (Park Circus), after which he graduated in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 1975. Later, he obtained an MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Rakesh Gangwal is married to Shobha Gangwal, and the couple has a daughter named Parul Gangwal, who launched her own start-up Wheelhouse Capital in June 2021. Prior to this, Parul worked for Salesforce, an enterprise software company in California.

Rakesh Gangwal (third from left) with his wife (second from left), Shobha and daughter Parul at an event at IIT Kanpur

Rakesh Gangwal (third from left) with his wife (second from left), Shobha and daughter Parul at an event at IIT Kanpur

Rahul Bhatia lives in Miami, Florida with his wife and daughter. Reportedly, in 2015, Rahul and his wife bought a mansion at 17 Indian Creek Drive in Miami for $30 million; The mansion belonged to billionaire Charles Johnson.

career in aviation industry

As an associate with Booz Allen & Hamilton Inc., Rakesh Gangwal began his career in the aviation industry in September 1980. In 1998, he became CEO of US Airways Group until he resigned in 2001, after which he worked as a manager for United Airlines. , strategic planning. From 2003 to 2007, Rakesh Gangwal served as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Worldspan Technologies.

indigo airlines

In 2006, Rakesh Gangwal and billionaire Rahul Bhatia founded IndiGo with an aircraft headquartered outside Delhi. Rakesh Gangwal made his fortune through InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of India’s largest budget airline IndiGo.

Awards and Achievements

In 2000, Rakesh Gangwal was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. In 2020, Forbes ranked him 359th in the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people.

charitable activities

In April 2022, Rakesh Gangwal made headlines after donating Rs. 100 crore to his institute, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, to set up a school of medical science and technology and a 500-bed super specialty hospital on its campus; The donation was considered to be the largest donation by an individual to IIT.

A newspaper report on Rakesh Gangwal's Rs.  100 crore donation to IIT Kanpur

A newspaper report on Rakesh Gangwal’s Rs. 100 crore donation to IIT Kanpur

Fight between Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal

Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal had serious differences soon after the signing of the shareholders’ agreement on 23 April 2015. The agreement was amended on 17 September 2015. In July 2018, Gangwal stepped down from an advisory role in aircraft, engine acquisitions, and pointed to issues such as unusual shareholder rights with Bhatia. On 8 July 2019, Gangwal wrote to SEBI, PMO and FinMin seeking their intervention on the issues. On 1 October 2019, Rahul Bhatia filed a case against Gangwal at the London Court of International Arbitration alleging breach of the shareholders’ agreement. After two board meetings and several discussions, resolutions were adopted on 27 August 2019 to resolve the issues. On 4 February 2022, Rahul Bhatia became the MD of IndiGo, and on 18 February 2022, Gangwal resigned as director from the board of InterGlobe Aviation, the airline’s holding company, saying he would gradually reduce his stake over the next five years. Will do After his resignation, Gangwal said,

I’ve been a long-term shareholder in the company for more than 15 years and it’s only natural to think about diversifying one’s holdings someday. ,

Rakesh Gangwal's resignation letter

Rakesh Gangwal’s resignation letter

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