News By/Courtesy: Varsha Subramaniam | 28 Oct 2020 5:41am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Air Deccan turned the thought of flying for every middle class Indian, into a reality
  • This is when business tycoon Vijay Mallya intervened and invested in Air Deccan.
  • A movie was inspired from his life, “Soorarai Potru”, starred by the South Indian actor Suriya based on G R Gopinath.

A successful Indian army soldier, an entrepreneur, and the founder of Air Deccan- Capt. Gopinath is a man of many faces. With a glorious history in the armed forces, he went on to lead a charter helicopter service which gave India its low-cost flights Air Deccan, which was later taken over by Kingfisher Airlines in 2007 connected sixty-nine cities around India. Among his many projects, Deccan Aviation launched in 1996 is one of the largest private air charter companies in India and Sri Lanka.

A native of the Gorur, a remote village in Karnataka’s Hassan district, Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath was the second of eight children to his parents. Gopinath's father who was also a school teacher resolved to home tutorials and was trained him personally. In 1962, Gopinath cleared the entrance test of Sainik School at Bijapur, the school was an enhancer in clearing the NDA entrance exams eventually. After school, he earned a commission in the Indian Army, earning the rank of Captain. He spent eight years in the army and fought in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. But like every fascinating job that comes to an end, Gopinath took early retirement. At 28, he set up an ecologically sustainable sericulture farm. This innovative step earned him the Rolex Laureate Award in 1996. In 1997 he co-founded Deccan Aviation, a charter helicopter service. Gopinath then up to launching Air Deccan, a low-cost airline that was later merged with Kingfisher Airlines in 2007. In 2009 he founded Deccan 360, a freight flight business, however in July 2013, Deccan 360 was ordered to wind up by the Karnataka High Court order because of legal issues. In May 2006, Capt. Gopinath was honored by the highest civilian award conferred by the French Government “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur”. He has also authored the book, Simply Fly A Deccan Odyssey, Collins Business which was published in 2010. Air Deccan, the Bangalore-based company introduced budget air travel to Indians, mostly targeting long-distance passengers who would otherwise be spending days on a train, reports India Times. At one of its peak times, the airlines had a fleet of 43 air crafts, with 350 daily flights to 61 destinations and had a market share of 22 percent passengers adds the report, however, the company saw a huge downfall in 2007. This is when business tycoon Vijay Mallya intervened and invested in Air Deccan.

With cheap airfares, as low as Rupee 1 to gifting most of the first-timers, a free ride, Air Deccan turned the thought of flying for every middle class Indian, into reality says a Business Standard report. A movie inspired by his life, “Soorarai Potru”, starred by the South Indian actor Suriya based on G R Gopinath will be released in the OTT platform in Amazon Prime in November.

 

 

This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 28 Oct 2020 8:49am IST


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