Monday, October 21, 2019

How a young immigrant who was sacked after offering his boss advice did the unthinkable... and is now worth $66MILLION at the age of 30

An high-flying aviation school entrepreneur has soared into Australia's Young Rich List for the first time.
As an ambitious and smart-thinking young flight instructor, Neel Khokhani, then 22, was sacked for telling his boss that his aircraft fleet could be better.
With just $5000 in savings, he crowdfunded the purchase of his first plane by selling highly discounted lessons on group buying site Scoopon.
He sold $180,000 of vouchers within a day, enough to buy his first plane and start up his own flying school in Melbourne.
Eight years on, Soar Aviation is now Australia's biggest flying school with 67 aircraft, three airport campuses in Melbourne, Sydney and Bendigo and more than 500 students, including the great-great-nephew of aviation pioneer Charles Kingsford Smith.
Khokhani, now 30, has built a $66million fortune and is deservedly ranked 51st in his debut on Australia's Young Rich List.
Originally from India, Khokhani arrived in Australia as a 16-year-old teenager to chase his dreams of becoming a pilot, where he learned how fly at Sydney's Bankstown Airport before he could even drive.
'I was always fascinated by Richard Branson as a boy and wanted to start my own airline,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
'I was always fascinated by Richard Branson as a boy and wanted to start my own airline,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'But it's something you can't teach a 12-year-old so I decided to first learn how to fly instead. I was a bit of a nerd so I skipped a few grades to finish school at 15.

'I came to Australia with my parents to study aviation at 16 and had my pilot licence by the age of 18.'
Within four years, the young instructor was questioning his boss about the planes he had after hearing about smaller, cheaper and more efficient aircraft being built in Europe.

'Every Friday night, we would catch up for a beer and one night, I decided to give him a few ideas about how to run his business,' Khokhani recalled.

'He took it quite personally and said "If you think you can run a flying school better than me, then go and start your own".'

'Being 22 and with $5000 in savings, I was shocked, scared and nervous about having to support myself. But it turned out to be a good thing and never looked back.'

Soar Aviation's success began to take off as one-time customers came back for repeat lessons.
21/10/19 Kylie Stevens/Daily Mail Australia/Mail Online
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