Why I Love Captain Gopinath

15 04 2008
When Mr. Vijay Mallya took over Air Deccan in June 2007 , both Mr  Mallya and Captain Gopinath projected a united front. By appointing himself as the Chairman and Captain Gopinath as the Vice Chairman, Mr. Mallya made it clear who would call the shots. The official communication stated that Air Deccan and Kingfisher would co-exist as two separate airlines, Air Deccan being the Low-Cost Carrier and Kingfisher being a full service airline. The synergies were apparently in the back-ends because both had a Airbus fleet.
From October 2007 onwards when Air Deccan went ahead with a rebranding exercise, it became clear that it was slowly losing its identity and getting prepared to be merged with Kingfisher The blue and yellow  Air Deccan colours gave way to Kingfisher red and white. The font was same as Kingfisher’s. Also, its mascot, Mr. R.K Laxman’s common man was dropped and the simple yet elegant logo of  two hands joined together, gave way to the Kingfisher logo.
Now we hear the two airlines will be merged and Air Deccan will no longer exist. Captain Gopinath will leave the passenger airline business and start a new business in logistics, which will probably be called “Deccan Cargo.”
Air Deccan may not exist tomorrow  but no one should forget the role it played  in bringing about a radical change in the aviation sector in India. Captain Gopinath by creating a Low Cost Carrier business model made millions of Indians fly for the first time. He linked small cities like Hubli, Pathankot, Raipur and other places which even the national airline did not operate in. Air Deccan showed the power of the Internet in a country like India by selling the tickets through net only. Now comparitive shopping of air tickets on the Net is assumed as a natural way of purchasing air tickets.
Air Deccan had its huge number of detractors who cursed it for its cancellations, unreliable service etc, but if they were paying lesser fares for their Jet or Indian Airlines tickets it was thanks to Air Deccan.
Captain Gopinath is a gutsy and tenacious entrepreneur with flair for disruptive strategies. I am sure that he will make a success of whatever business he gets in.
– G. Mohan



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