Punjab boy flies with the honchos | india | Hindustan Times
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Punjab boy flies with the honchos

After four decades of blood and sweat, the Punjab Da Puttar now owns Air Slovakia. But success has not gone to his head. Sidhu is humble in glory. Recalling his first job, Sidhu said, "I went there just like any other Punjabi youth with an empty pocket and a bag of hope", reports Aseem Bassi.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2006 03:34 IST

Harjinder Singh Sidhu, a perfect rags-to-riches model, touched base on his Air Slovakia plane on Saturday. It is a dream he did not dare to dream when he left for the England’s shores 40 years ago.

Hailing from Nabha, Sidhu was just like any other Punjabi boy, who sought greener pastures in the west. At 16, he was raring to go. After four decades of blood and sweat, the “Punjab Da Puttar” now owns Air Slovakia. Success has not gone to his head. Sidhu is humble in glory. Recalling his first job, Sidhu said, “I went there just like any other Punjabi youth with an empty pocket and a bag of hope. I started my career with the Ford Company as a machine man and saved enough to buy a petrol pump. I acquired 35 petrol pumps and since then, I have never looked back. I ventured into real estate and have purchased Air Slovakia.”

It was rough road, but “I was committed to hard work and fame. But, it is by God's grace that I am here today.” Sidhu, who earned 12 pounds for a 45-hour week is a billionaire in his own right. “Now, you better ask me how much I spend in 45 hours,” says the proud ailrine baron. Sidhu plans to add three more aircraft to his fleet in December and three more in March and then “my Air Slovakia will be flying nine planes”. That is some high flying for the boy-next-door from Punjab.