On Thursday, IndiGo owner InterGlobe Aviation appointed Ronojoy Dutta as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company with immediate effect. Dutta had earlier been appointed as the principal consultant and was tasked with drawing up a five-year business plan for the carrier, whilst adding that he himself was a top contender to head the carrier. The company has also appointed Meleveetil Damodaran as the Independent Non-Executive Director and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company with immediate effect. Two months after the death of M.D. Mallya who had served as chairman of the company, his appointment came. Ronojoy Dutta will remain as the CEO for the company for the next five years.
The 67-year-old newly appointed CEO, Ronojoy Dutta, has done BS Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology and MBA from Harvard Business School. He co-founded and was the Managing Director of ACO Investment, renowned investment advisory firm in the field of aviation and infrastructure.
After graduating from IIT, Kharagpur, Dutta got his management degree from Harvard Business. A strategic adviser for several carriers such as Air Canada and Hawaiian Airlines, he spent close to 17 years at United Airlines. Rakesh Gangwal, the former CEO and Chairman of US Airways group, was with the airline between 1984 and 1994, before moving to US Airways, where Dutta later became a strategic adviser and member of the board. Dutta was President of United Airlines from 1999 to 2002, followed by President of Air Sahara from 2005 to 2008. He succeeded Aditya Ghosh, who quit eight months ago, leaving Co-founder Rahul Bhatia as interim CEO in the intervening period.
After Ghosh’s exit, industry experts were quoted saying that his ideal replacement would be someone with extensive international experience, someone who could drive and help expand the international operations of the airline.
Industry veteran Ronojoy Dutta seems to be the perfect candidate for the same, given the fact that he has several decades of experience in the aviation sector.
And accordingly, Dutta is also looking to step up international growth, even as IndiGo grapples with high costs and low yields at home. The December quarter profit fell 75%, it announced, due to high fuel costs and a failure to increase existing prices in line with expenses. However, the carrier has been building up its market share at the expense of rivals and it has a 43.2% market share, followed by Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet respectively.
“IndiGo is blessed to be operating as part of one of the highest growth economies of the world and this opens up future opportunities for rapid growth,” Dutta was quoted saying.