Several women are low-key, under the radar, keeping to their corner of the world. And then there are those who aren’t, who blow you away with their energy, conviction and vision to change the world. Kanika is all that. A pioneer in aviation, an industry that belongs to the exclusive, ‘only-boys-allowed’ club. She founded JetSetGo at just 21, that is now the Uber of the skies.
Kanika has seen, heard and felt it all. From being considered too young to be taken seriously to ferrying top officials and diplomats in her private charters, she’s one of the few millennial leaders that have broken the proverbial ‘Glass Ceiling’. She calls it her journey from being called ‘Beta’ to becoming ‘Ma’am’.
Here’s how she did it.
- With a winning value proposition — Kanika realised that owners of private planes treated them as cost centres, whereas her model was to make them profit centres. She created a platform that made use of idle planes for the luxury traveller, thus generating revenue. And people started to take her seriously.
- With a transparent and ethical value system — Kanika says that these are key attributes to building a long term business. She makes sure that she delivers all the promises that are made to both customers as well as clients.
- With a humble attitude — given the highly regulated aviation sector, Kanika had to use her interpersonal skills to get the requisite licenses. She got many rejections, but she kept on chipping away till officials considered her requests.
I learnt several things in my short conversation with this millennial leader. For instance, she was candid about expecting hardships and getting discriminated for trying to make a mark in a male dominated industry. An interesting anecdote that she shares — on her very first sales pitch as she entered the conference room, the client asked her if she would get everyone some tea, and she had to politely tell him off, knowing then and there that her sale effort was lost! She also shares that the struggle remains, and she often breaks down because of it.
She reminds us that entrepreneurs are human. But they have to do a little extra, go a little extra than others to survive. And then flourish.
Are you going to take the plunge?