IndiGo, India’s largest airline,   (indigo login)currently valued at a whopping Rs 27,500 crore, is a testimony to the levels a company can grow if it is steered by visionary entrepreneurs like Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal, who started the company with an investment of Rs 350 crore.

Today, IndiGo has a fleet strength of over 200 aircraft, operates over 1300 daily flights,  (indigo login)  employs 25,000 people, and has 126 offices located in 60 cities around the globe.

When Rahul and Rakesh joined hands in 2004 to form InterGlobe Aviation, the owner of IndiGO Airlines, they were fully aware of the pitfalls of Indian aviation which had acquired the reputation of being airlines’ graveyard and where an operator’s fortune was much dependent on how well versed the promoters were in the art of managing the powers that be.  (indigo login)

But overlooking the unwritten rules of the game, R and R went about (indigo login)  their job in the most professional manner and scripted the most stunning success story in the history of Indian aviation.


Credible studies indicate that the partnership model in business has had a much higher rate of failure than any other model, be it sole proprietorship or a limited liability structure.

More often than not, people join hands for the purpose of making quick bucks but without sharing a common ethos and common vision. A shallow partnership doesn’t last long. But there have also been many glorious exceptions that have defied this conventional wisdom.

Some of the most iconic brands that we know of today were created by the coming together of two very diverse sets of individuals, who despite radically different personalities harmonized their respective strengths to shape up a common dream and turned their dreams into mega business empires.  (indigo login)

Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft); Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard (HP) are just two examples of such enduring partnerships. Could they have done it on their own? Looks quite unlikely! A partnership can work if it is a partnership of shared vision and shared values – not if it’s just a partnership of convenience and connivance.


In the case of Rahul and Rakesh, personality-wise, they are as different from each other as the chalk is from cheese, much like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak - the cofounders of Apple. But they brought their respective strengths to the table. Just like Wozniak who knew how to build a computer (he was the main guy who designed and developed Apple I and Apple II), Jobs knew how to market it.

At IndiGo, Rahul was the outgoing kind with a vision, while Rakesh was the reticent kind of guy who likes to go about a task quietly, and has been the mission implementer. While Rahul had an excellent sense of backend commercial arithmetic and the Indian regulatory environment, Rakesh was the man who knew how to run an airline having steered US Airways one of the largest and oldest American airlines at the time) in the late nineties during some turbulent times.  (indigo login)