Rahul Bhatia, the co-founder of IndiGo denied any link between the resignation of Aditya Ghosh from the president position with the appointment of expatriates in the company. He further stated that Indians are still heading the key departments and the expats have been hired due to their experience in certain areas.
“Aditya had been saying for the last few months that he wanted to get off the treadmill of running an airline, and the board finally had to accede to his wish. Aditya Ghosh was at the helm all these years and we will miss him, but the company will not miss a heartbeat — the transition will be seamless,” said Rahul Bhatia in an interview.
As per Mr Bhatia, expats were also hired in IndiGo two years back to operate the network planning and manage revenues. They were said to be better than Indians managers in these skills. “The airline is planning for the future. In the areas of network planning and revenue management, India doesn’t have resident expertise and we had to bring talent from oversees who have deep functional knowledge,” he said.
“This is not to disparage Indian managers. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it,” Bhatia added. Functions such as finance, inflight services, ground handling and human resources are all headed by Indians, some of whom have overseas experience, he said.
As a matter of fact, Aditya Ghosh’s resignation from the company came after his successful tenure of more than a decade. He is said to be replaced by Greg Taylor.
Being asked about the claims of data theft by IndiGo’s new chief operating officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer by his former employer GoAir, Rahul Bhatia clarified that his airline was not a party to the court case.
“Why would IndiGo need GoAir’s data?” he said.
Reportedly, IndiGo has a domestic market share of about 40%. On the other hand, GoAir has about 9%. Rahul Bhatia further highlighted the domestic and international expansion of IndiGo, mentioning about the addition of new aircraft as the airline’s central priorities. IndiGo’s fleet will rise by about 25% in the current fiscal to 200 planes from 160 at present.
“The addition will be a mix of Airbus A320s and bigger Airbus A321s and regional aircraft ATRs,” he said. “Our focus is going to be expanding international (flights) with the bigger Airbus 321s while we continue to expand aggressively in the domestic space,” added Rahul Bhatia.