A self-made aviation entrepreneur and cancer survivor, Kanika Tekriwal launched JetSetGo in 2013. JetSetGo is an exciting venture that has revolutionised the private aviation industry and put India on the global map.
Kanika started working at the age of 17 against the wishes of her conservative Bhopal-based Marwari family, who wanted to get her married soon after she graduated from college. When she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 21, she realised that she had to live to please herself by living life on her terms. “It was indeed a blow. But I refused to give up. It took nine months of rigorous treatment with the help of chemotherapy that cured me. Yes, that time was tough, but the best part of that time was that on the one hand, it tested me beyond my limits, on the other hand, it gave me time to think about what I have to with my life because I knew I wouldn’t surrender and recover from this phase.”
Watch the video below as Kanika reveals what inspired her to venture into the aviation sector post an exhausting battle with cancer.
“Many customers asked why a trip should cost them as much as a Rolex,” Kanika remarks in the video. Such queries sowed the seed of an idea in her head to offer a service for booking chartered flights. Thus, JetSetGo aka ‘the Uber of the Indian skies’ was born. Eighteen months down the line, the company has 77 aircraft on offer and last month, and it recorded a 100% growth in revenue. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that JetSetGo has completely re-defined the experience for private charter customers in a span of merely four years.
Traditionally dominated by men, the aviation sector is not an easy place to break into. Kanika reveals that she faced sexism at her workplace. “The clients are aghast when I am introduced as the CEO. I receive remarks such as ‘you should take up baking cupcakes’ and the likes. Sometimes when I am assertive, I am considered arrogant whereas a man being more assertive than me is considered passionate. It has been a task, but I have taken it in my stride. I believe girls can make it happen.”
The taskmaster who made it to the Forbes’ Under 30 list last year, gives a very strong and clear message. “I think having faith in yourself, having courage, believing in yourself is 99% of the game when you’re starting anything. The 1% can be luck, chance, and knowledge. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, why will the world believe in you?”
Kanika’s story proves the age-old adage – where there’s will; there’s truly a way.