Friday, December 07, 2018

Ajay Singh’s daughter being groomed to take reins at SpiceJet

New Delhi: Women have been making their presence felt in the Indian skies and an inordinately high number of women pilot commercial aircraft in the Indian skies compared to other sectors, but now, one is being groomed for a larger role of taking over operational reins from current promoters.
SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh’s daughter Avani Singh is being trained to step into senior Singh’s shoes. Avani is currently pursuing her Masters from Stanford University and training in the US to be a pilot. Avani has been attending monthly meetings held by the aviation secretary for the past six months and is undergoing training under department heads of commercial and operations.
“If Avani joins SpiceJet, she will have to learn the business from the ground up. Aviation is a very exciting business with terrific potential, but it needs special skills and a lot of domain knowledge,” the senior Singh told ET about the flight path he is charting for his daughter.
India has the highest proportion of female commercial pilots in the world at 12% — much higher than the global average of less than 5%. In contrast, the board rooms have been male dominated with an exception of Jet Airways, where Anita Goyal, wife of chairman Naresh Goyal and a director on the board, has been part of airline’s management since inception.
Avani, who has been interning at SpiceJet since July this year, has a Bachelors degree from Stanford University and is currently pursuing Master of Public Policy from the same university. She is also undergoing pilot training, which would make her eligible to become a commercial pilot in the future if she wishes to choose that role.
07/12/18 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times