She was all of 24 when Kanika Tekriwal found JetSetGo, also known as the Uber of the skies. Though her idea was fantastic, her road to achieving her dream wasn’t a bed of roses. Here’s looking at her life and the brand she set up which is touted to play an important role in air mobility in the future.
Born into a business family, she knew she had to run her business someday. After completing her MBA from Coventry University, she worked in the aerospace industry and that is where she learned of the need for a private jet aggregator in the country.
This is because, India has 200 fully functional airports and airstrips, but only 80 are connected by commercial airlines. Also, private aircraft companies cannot function to their full potential because there is no proper system.
And in order to help solve these problems, she started JetSetGo in 2014, with an investment of INR 5,600 and no plane in hand.
Her biggest roadblock was her being diagnosed with cancer at 22, just a year into building her business model. The fighter in her refused to give up she beat the disease to bounce back with even more zest and zeal.
During the first six months, she failed to find a single customer.
With Sudheer Perla joining as co-founder, she started providing luxury service to the customer plus a part of the profit to the jet owner. This helped minimize maintenance cost and ground time, thereby increasing airtime and profits.
According to her, JetSetGo is yet to face its toughest moment. “Every day you wake up with 100 new problems and go to sleep having solved 50 of them. What seemed difficult a year ago is now a joke and gets done in a jiffy. Similarly, every small and big victory is my biggest success, getting excellent feedback from a customer is success, getting a plane repaired before the target time is success, and having a happy time
is a success, showing 7X growth with excellent EBIDTA is success, just building JetSetGo the way we are is success.”
According to Kanika, JetSetGo did not require to go out and look for funding. Its customers themselves turned into investors and now the company employs around 200 employees. They even bought their own aircraft and the year 2020-21 saw her company operating 6000 flights, conveying 1,00,000 fliers.
The use of technology made JetSetGo popular with app bookings. The company has grown into Rs. 150 crore-turnover company.
Delhi-Mumbai, Hyderabad-Delhi & Mumbai-Bengaluru are the routes they have flown the most over, and nearly 5% of their flights are used for medical emergencies, for which they plan to start a shuttle service using helicopters.
Seeking first-mover advantage, JetSetGo’s eVTOL aircraft which are capable of vertical take-offs and landings are touted to play an important role in urban mobility in the future.
Kanika Tekriwal’s story teaches us to first – believe in ourselves and just take the first step and second – keep going ahead in every situation and not just keep waiting for the perfect time.