Born in Patiala, Punjab, India in 1949. Goyal moved to Delhi to work in his uncle's travel agency - a modest first step to building a hugely successful business. As an international airline agent, Goyal understood the industry and as an Indian, he knew the frustration felt by India's middle classes towards the state-owned carriers. Persuading a group of Middle East investors to back him, he launched Jet Airways. It was a big gamble, but Goyal sensed that deregulation was in the air. Sure enough, India's state monopoly over scheduled air transport ended in 1994. Jet has since put its rivals to shame with reliable flights and first-class cabin service, yet it operates on a break-even of 65 per cent seat sales - 20 per cent below that of many rivals. Goyal's ruthless cost control and commitment to high standards was reflected in the company's 200 IPO (initial public offering), which sold out in ten minutes, raising $260 million. This gave him the confidence to expand in a shrinking market when fuel costs soared. Goyal held his nerve and bought chief rival Sahara at a knock-down price. Jet has now moved to become a global operator. BEST-DECISION:
Pulling out of the deal to buy rival Air Sahara for $500 million in 2006, and clinching it for $340 million in 2007. BUSINESS LESSON:
Sell your service - Goyal gambled on Indian air passengers being won over by a formula offering high-quality service, comfort, and reliability. He was proved right.
Founder Chairman of Jet Airways; Recipient of the first BM Munjal Award for Excellence in Learning & Development in the Private Sector category in 2006.
Naresh Goyal is the founder Chairman of Jet Airways, India's largest domestic airline. Jet...