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Aditya Ghosh’s Remarkable Journey: Leading IndiGo Without Elite Credentials

Aditya Ghosh’s Remarkable Journey: Leading IndiGo Without Elite Credentials

By Renu

You’d expect this success story to come from an elite alumnus of an IIM or IIT. But neither of these is true. This is Aditya Ghosh’s success story. Although he is not an IIM or IIT, we can state that he is a visionary leader with exceptional leadership and decision-making skills. Today, he is leading Akasa Air at the forefront as a co-founder and has caught worldwide attention for his unique approach to revolutionize the aviation industry.

Aditya Ghosh's High-flying Career | Aditya Ghosh's Remarkable Journey: Leading IndiGo Without Elite Credentials
Credit Image: Forbes India

Early Career Exposure

Akash Ghosh has earned his LL.B. from Delhi University. Rahul Bhatia, the founder of IndiGo Airlines, selected Ghosh in 2008, demonstrating considerable faith in his talents. Though Ghosh was a young lawyer with no operating expertise, Rahul, as the airline’s president, took a choice that defied conventional ways of handling business operations. Finally, Bhatia’s unique decision to give Akash the opportunity to prove himself provided the corporate world with a brilliant visionary.

Transforming IndiGo

Indigo Airlines wanted to make a mark in the aviation industry and it saw tremendous growth and success under Ghosh’s leadership. In 2017, the airline achieved its ninth consecutive year of profitability, increasing its domestic market share from 20.3% in FY12 to 39.6% in FY17. Within the same year, passenger growth accelerated by 31.5%, while capacity expanded by 27.5%. Indigo’s annual revenue increased significantly that helped it scale as a leading player in the aviation industry.

Recognition and Accolades

Ghosh’s efforts were always well recognised. In 2012, only four years after taking over as CEO of IndiGo, he was placed 27th on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list of business executives. Fortune heartily applauded his accomplishment, pointing out that despite his lack of operational expertise, he led IndiGo to establish international flights and made the largest commercial aviation purchase in history—180 Airbus A320s for $15.6 billion. This accomplishment drew global attention to Ghosh’s profile and made headlines.

In his journey, Ghosh bagged the Leadership award at the World Airline Awards in 2011, GQ Businessman of the Year in 2012, and being a nominee for CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in the business category. In 2013, SABRE titled and awarded him with the CEO of the Year recognition.

A Legacy of Relentless Dedication

When asked to share the experience of his business journey so far, Ghosh summed it up as relentless, thrilling, and emotionally fulfilling. Many people looked up to him as a role model, therefore his departure from Indigo was disheartening. It also signaled the end of a period of unprecedented progress and innovation. Despite not excelling academically or having a strong educational background, Ghosh’s accomplishment demonstrates the power of determination, vision, and unrelenting dedication to one’s goals.

The growing profitability of the venture

Based on the guidance of Aditya Ghosh, Akasa Air is becoming more profitable and expanding into South and Southeast Asia. In less than two years, the airline has expanded to a fleet of 24 planes and more than 4,000 people. Ghosh’s business philosophy revolves around a customer-focused, consistent approach to operations and intends more foreign and local developments.

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