At a young age of 20, without being dominated by cancer, Kanika Tekriwal determined to make her life meaningful and ever remembered. She built up the India’s first and only marketplace for private helicopter and jet charters- JetSetGo– A chartered plane aggregator which is also known as the “Uber of aviation industry”. She was not only chosen as one of the 100 most inspirational women in the world by BBC but in 2016, she made it into prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Asia List.
Undoubtedly, women of India have put special footmarks everywhere in the world in every field. They are not captive in four-walls of a house. We all take pride in the achievements of Indian women! The fame of women of India is held high on virtue of women like Kanika Tekriwal (Co-Founder & CEO, JetSetGo Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd.) who never give up and achieve their dreams.
“I’m sorry; you will not live for long.”
These are the words the Doctor said to Kanika Tekriwal who was 22 at that time, as she was diagnosed with the severe cancer.
But, in a reply, this is what she said to the Doctor,
“Really Doctor, I am going to come and see you here after 40 years, not for treatment, but to prove that I am alive and kicking.”
Then she kept the belief on herself and Went to a doctor who believed in her and his treatment.
In next one year, she went through radiation and treatment and like a fighter she came out clean.
At the age of 25 she did something which very few people have the guts to do.
It was an out of ordinary thing, especially for a woman.
With merely Rs 6000 in hand, she started JetSetGo– A chartered plane aggregator. Yes you read it right. Many people laughed at her, as Aviation was male dominated sector, plus they thought her idea was a child’s dream.
But, she believed in herself and never gave up on her dreams. Initially, her company JetSetGo was able to make one flight take-off per month. However now, her company is able to make seven flights take off per day. She is funded by none other than, the man who himself is another example of cancer conqueror and knows what it takes to beat cancer: He is Yuvraj Singh.
Her startup has grown up to become a big Company. JetSetGo is now known as “Uber of the Aviation Industry. She is bringing a positive transformation in the male-dominated aviation sector. JetSetGo provides charter customers with choice, transparency and the flexibility of booking on both web and mobile platforms. JetSetGo prioritizes the needs of its customers by providing exclusive ground services, state of the art planes and helicopters and unmatched service all around. Having India’s largest private jet fleet at its disposal, JetSetGo offers the shortest wait time for an aircraft and, in the rare case of unscheduled maintenance it has the unrivaled ability to provide you with a substitute aircraft in the shortest amount of time.
How JetSetGo Started?
Coming from a Marwari family background, Kanika Tekriwal’s entrepreneurial journey was considerably natural. Although none of her family members had specific interest in aviation industry.
She mentioned that “I chose aviation because it has been my passion. My passion for the industry, in many ways, is to make flying more accessible to everyone, not just cater to a niche segment.”
Ms. Kanika Tekriwal started her journey in the aviation industry at the age of 17. She witnessed the industry’s growth and has grown with it. As her career started, she saw the frustration suffered by any customer during chartering planes or helicopters. Aviation industry was crowded by charter brokers and operators who were only interested in heavy commission rather than satisfying their customers.
Kanika observed the Lack of technology driven platform in the private aviation industry causing lack of transparency and astronomical prices for the same. The demand for “something better” was the spark that led her to create “A professional and comprehensive technology driven charter service providing a variety of aircraft with a transparent pricing system”
In order to find a solution she wanted to create a technology driven platform in the private aviation chartering.
JetSetGo is a direct result of the desire to solve this problem. It is a customer-centric venture aimed at revolutionising the private aviation business in the region by re-defining the experience for private charter customers.
Many people laughed at her, as Aviation was male dominated sector, and for them her project was seem to be a child’s dream. She faced lot of taunts and comments initially.
During the Starting period, after investing over six months and a good amount of resources, she was not able to sell a single plane. Then she analyzed the ways to reinvent a new business model that reduce the price of these planes and made them more affordable and easy for any potential customers. This Innovative thinking opened the path to her becoming one of the 100 most prominent and inspirational women in the world.
JetSetGo Scale Up:
At 25 years of age she started the JetSetGo which evolved from a small flight aggregator with hardly one flight in a month to a level of seven flights per day. Today JetSetGo has established a wide recognition in aviation industry .became the largest single aggregator and dominated the market with more than 20 percent market share.
Here is what she said,
“Things have come very far since JetSetGo began. For example, we only had about one take-off per month, when we established JetSetGo. Now, there are at least seven JetSetGo flights in the sky every single day. We’ve already captured over 20% of the market and are currently the single largest market shareholder. And we expect our market share to grow, even more, reaching at least 80% by 2022. I think this is largely due to how our JetSteals program has made it accessible for anyone to fly private, expanding the market like never before.”
Kanika Tekriwal’s Startup Tips
Kanika shared her views about starting a startup, she says-
“Startups must build on a very different outlook. They have to redefine a new model of entrepreneurship, where innovation is given more importance than profiteering. At the same time, the word success holds a different meaning for everyone. My long-term goal was to make a positive change in the aviation industry, and JetSetGo was the cornerstone in achieving that. While the success of the goal seems near. But I might redefine the goal because for me there isn’t something like a ‘definite life goal.’”
Meaning of Success:
She has some views about meaning of success and secrets of successful startups-she said:
“Success can turn into failure quicker than failure can turn into success. Successful businesses were not built on money but on great people and great ideas. When stepping into the world of business, have a calculated vision. Why are you doing what you want to do? Do you have a passion for it? If you don’t, find something else that makes you want to wake up in the morning and bolt to the office. Tears, blood, and sweat are all part of the game; no one said it was going to be easy, no matter how much you believe in your mission. Stay curious. Keep learning. Don’t lose your drive.”
A few years back she was diagnosed with cancer deteriorating health severely, but she did not lose hope and fought back hard, overcame it, and now she is heading a company which is alternatively called the Uber of the aviation industry. Kanika Tekriwal proved herself as an amazing person who is bringing a positive transformation in the male-dominated aviation sector.
And now, this is what she aims today,
She said, “I go to sleep thinking very soon I am going to be on the list of 100 most powerful women in the world.”
From Beating Cancer to leading the airline industry, Kanika Tekriwal, founder and CEO of JetSetGo is an example of real fighter women. She proved that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.