Sunday, September 13, 2015

The man who came close to operating an airline from Kolkata was once a mill worker

Kolkata: From a mill worker to a millionaire employing 300 persons, Raj Kumar Gupta has come a long way, scaling the heights by first constructing a residential apartment building at Rishra in West Bengal’s Hooghly district at a time when no one thought that people would buy flats to live in that locality.

It was in 1984 that he saw a vacant land during a morning walk near his house and decided to construct apartments there. So he bought the eight cottah of land for Rs 1.25 lakh and constructed the high rise, never to look back in business and life.

One of his greatest regrets has been the Mukti Airways which failed to take-off. He lost a decade in trying to launch his private airline service after the aviation industry witnessed a boom in the early 1990’s.

“Advertisements regarding the launch of airline companies used to appear regularly in newspapers. I was fantasized and an idea stuck me to have my own airline. But I was ignorant of the fact that it was not a cakewalk. I was confident and had a firm belief in turning the impossible into possible.”

His dream, for which he gained the requisite technical knowledge and devoted a decade of his life, came crashing down because of a negativity in the airline sector and the Harshad Mehta scam that had a major effect on the economy of the country.

“I tried hard and spent a lot of money and time, but it couldn’t get through. The foreign airline companies backed off and the plan was shelved,” he says looking visibly disappointed by the failure.
12/09/15 G Singh/Weekend Leader
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