An electrical engineer from Canada, Rahul Bhatia came back to India three decades ago to start a telecom venture. When that did not go anywhere given that India was still a closed economy, he reluctantly assumed responsibility of the family business of travel technology (now a small part of the group). Partnering former US Airways chief Rakesh Gangwal, he jumped into the front end of travel business by launching budget airline IndiGo around a decade ago.
From the first flight in 2006, the firm flew to become the top air carrier in the country ferrying one in three Indians every day and recently completed a successful public listing. The duo navigated the highly regulated aviation sector while beating the loss-making jinx of the industry globally. While some peers like Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines and Air Sahara either went bust or got acquired, IndiGo flew higher with a nifty business model and is the most profitable in the business in the country.