Captain GR Gopinath has expressed apparent anguish over the way the low-cost carrier Air Deccan that he founded was treated after its acquisition by Vijay Mallya-promoted UB Group’s Kingfisher.
Captain Gopinath, at the launch of his book here, recalled that at the time of the acquisition in mid-2007, he termed his move on the sale as like giving away daughter in a wedding. But he added that when she is ill-teated, one is at pain.
But he didn’t elaborate on 'ill-teatment' of Air Deccan, a 'baby' he was attached to as an entrepreneur.
It was no secret that Capt Gopinath was not happy with Kingfisher’s move to abandon the low-cost model. Air Deccan was reincarnated as Kingfisher Red.
Gopinath, however, said he has no regrets on selling Deccan Aviation, saying he was keen on giving return on investment to individual shareholders and institutions such as LIC as the market then was hot (for mergers and acquisitions) though he had the other option of retaining the company in his control.
"Vijay Mallya wooed me more than the others, and I fell for him", he said. But, in hindsight, he said it was possible to keep Deccan Aviation afloat and he could "pull it off" by taking additional debt.