From deteriorating health to dominating the airline industry, Kanika Tekriwal, founder and CEO of JetSetGo proved that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. A few years back she was detected with cancer, but she fought hard, overcame it, and now she is heading a company which is alternatively called the Uber of the aviation industry. An amazing person who made it into Forbes 30 under 30 Asia List 2016, she is bringing a positive transformation in the male-dominated aviation sector.
And it’s a pleasure to tell you that in an interaction with GoodVitae, she has shared her experience, life lessons, and learnings via a question-answer session.
So, get inspired and learn, while reading these amazing answers:
1. Can you tell something about your entrepreneurial journey?
“Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey was a natural choice considering that I was born in a typical Marwari family, with a long history in business. Although none of my family members has a specific interest in aviation, 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.
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.”
2. Which habits do you think can make an entrepreneur successful?
“I strongly believe that an entrepreneur must not only strive to take over a market but to create one, nurture it, and help it thrive. Such is the case with JetSetGo, where we design and cultivate our market, and look forward to solving new challenges.”
3. What do you think is more important, money or definite life goal when long-term success is considered?
“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 as a ‘definite life goal.'”
4. What important thing one must remember while starting something new like a venture or a new job?
“It truly is about ignoring the naysayers and believing in yourself. Don’t give up. As I always say, use every no as a stepping stone to success.”
5. Can you share an important financial tip which everyone must follow?
“Going lean will never go out of fashion – irrespective of whether it’s your money or your investors. Fancy offices, snazzy cars and big-ticket spends never gets you a customers. Watch every expense and focus on getting more than what you planned out of every rupee spent.”
6. As you’re an entrepreneur, you must be facing lots of obstacles. How do you handle them?
“It’s very easy, as a woman, to feel like you do not belong in this exclusive, only-boys- allowed private aviation club. I’ve definitely received far too many backhanded compliments and prejudiced comments that have all implied that I don’t belong in this space. The intensity of the corporate world’s glass ceiling first hit me when I was in a boardroom filled with over a hundred men. I was, to my surprise, the only woman in the room. I quickly realized that to feel intimidated would be an injustice to myself and other women whose dreams were waiting to be turned into reality. When I spoke, the men did feel intimidated.”
7. Do you believe in motivation, positive thinking and nothing is impossible in life?
“Yes. I believe it is very important to think positive and be motivated. Motivation keeps you going, and positive thinking helps in combatting the various problems encountered on a daily basis.”
Also, watch her amazing TEDx Talk:
8. What is something that you have learned, which can’t be learned in any school or college?
“I was able to learn so much about the business world through hands-on experiences. Tackling life problems as an enthusiastic businesswoman was honestly the best way to learn about my own leadership style and perseverance. There are many things that you can read about, but effective leadership is not one of them. There’s nothing like a grilling meeting to teach you about grit and the art of persuasion. I owe my skill development to the experiences I’ve been lucky to have.”
9. Along with failures, everyone must know how to handle success. Can you tell something about it?
“Success can turn into failure quicker than failure can turn into success.”
10. At last, can you share important life lessons for budding entrepreneurs and students?
“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.”
If you are feeling motivated, then make sure to share it with your friends and family.