The IndiGo Story by Shelley Vishwajeet: Review

Book: The IndiGo Story

Author: Shelley Vishwajeet

Publisher: Rupa

Pages: 000;

Price: Rs 500

It is the story of “Officially the fastest growing airline on the planet”, that is, of the IndiGo Airlines. Indian aviation doesn’t have many good stories to share, more so in recent times.

The book in the initial chapters documents the history of Low Cost Carriers, that is, how in America and Europe the birth of Low Cost Carriers took place. It profiles leading airlines, their operational methods and failures. It will help the common man understand the business of aviation.

The book also speaks about Indian aviation, rules, regulations and profiles the known and unknown legends of Indian aviation, the brief history of different airlines after 1991 is almost like fiction with murder and takeover being an integral part of it. It also talks about the different airports in India, which is enlightening.

The author has described in detail the success and failure of different airlines in the recent aviation history of India. Uncomplicated graphs have been used extensively to convey the point, which makes the arguments convincing. An extensive glossary is very helpful to understand the terms like Aircraft Kilometre Performed, Passengers Kilometre Performed, Tonne Kilometre Performed, etc.

Frankly, the IndiGo story is fascinating but more fascinating is the story of Inter Globe Enterprises, which not only owns the IndiGo, but also eight diversified but complimentary business verticals like Aviation, Hospitality, Travel Commerce, IT and BPM, Airline Managements, Advanced Pilot Training, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering, and Real Estate. They are successful in all the enterprises and leaders in few.

This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in management, strategy, negotiation, operation, ruthlessness, in a nutshell overall business. And yes, IndiGo does not have a mission and vision statement till date.

The difference between the domestic operation and international operation for an Indian aviation company will come as an eye opener to many. Book talks about the tricks deployed by IndiGo to bolster its on time performance and its troubles with the new Airbus A320neo planes at length.

The way the author has explained the aviation business for layman is unparallel and he deserves full praise for the same. It is not mentioned, but it becomes obvious that the book is based on secondary sources.

There is no interview or direct quote of anyone from any level of IndiGo. Since, IndiGo charges for everything from passengers except the oxygen they inhale and toilets they use inside the flight, in all probability they would have asked the author and publisher for a fee for an interview. Pictures would have made the book more interesting but I won’t blame the author, we can guess the reason.

Book holds the grip on the reader and there is never a dull moment while reading the book. The acknowledgement by the author to his “one and only wife” in the days of #MeToo is heart touching.

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