Why More Indian Entrepreneurs Are Joining the Jet Set
By Alan Olsen
Although the exact numbers aren’t known, there are roughly 12,500 private business jet owners in the world, with the majority of these aircraft based in the United Sates. Clearly, that’s a very small percentage of the population. Of course, the percentage of people that can afford to own their own jet is rather small as well. However, just because you don’t own a private jet that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t fly in one. That’s a new concept that has helped one young entrepreneur from India, and her business, really take off.
The Uber of the Skies
By now just about everyone has heard of Uber and Lyft, which have changed the transportation world, as we know it. No longer do people have to call a cab if they don’t want to drive themselves, thanks to these personalized shuttle services. So could this concept work in the aviation industry? Not only could it work, but it is working for the founder and CEO of JetSetGo, Kanika Tekriwal. Tekriwal started her company in 2012 and has enjoyed profitability since its inception. Based in India, JetSetGo has discovered a large market for her company’s services, which is essentially a taxi service in the sky.
No-Brainer for Customers
For example, lets say you want to fly to New York and enjoy a Broadway show and an extravagant meal. Just throw down 20 million rupees ($300,000) and JetSetGo will get you there and back without any trouble. Prefer to take a short flight? That will cost about 200,000 rupees, or $3,000. Of course, this service is not for everyone, but according to Tekriwal, the company’s average customer has a net worth of about $100 million. Therefore, if you have the money to afford such luxury, why wouldn’t you use it? In fact, the JetSetGo CEO says it doesn’t take much to convince a potential customer to splurge on a private jet trip.
Win-Win for Everyone
The business has been a huge success because it relies on private jets already in fleet. Customers don’t have to pay to purchase their own jet but instead get to use one of the 16 jets the company has access to. In exchange for managing and operating the private aircraft for the owners, JetSetGo gets the right to rent the aircraft out to its customers. JetSetGo supplies all the crew, engineers and every thing else, including catering. It’s a win-win because they make a profit for the plane owners and their customers get a luxury service for a great price.
Clear Skies Ahead
The future looks very bright for JetSetGo, as well. That’s because the travel industry grew by more than 20 percent in India in 2015 and those numbers are expected to continue to go up, as the country is on pace to surpass the U.K. as the third largest aviation market in the world by 2026. Plus, India is currently home to more than 200,000 millionaires, which means the market for this service is also likely to keep growing.