Book Review : The Indigo Story

The Book ‘The Indigo Story’ is written by Shelley Vishwajeet , a well-known journalist.

When I bought the Book, I thought the Book would be an insider’s account into the rise and rise of Indigo.But it becomes clear that the Book is nothing of the sort.

The author relies on publicly available information such as newspapers, periodicals, annual reports etc to write his story.

Having said that, the author does a fairly competent job of analysing Indian Aviation which has acquired the reputation of being the ‘graveyard for private airlines’

The author chronicles the opening of Indian aviation, the entry of various airlines and how one by one, they all died.

The author explains also why Indigo succeeded why others failed and why it is unlikely to lose its leadership position in the future.

The author also sheds light on the background of Indigo’s promoters- Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal- which I found interesting.

Rahul Bhatia’s Inter Globe Group has varied large business interests-including being one of India’s largest hospitality provider.

Rakesh Gangwal, thanks to his Indigo holdings, is now the richest Indian-American in the US

The author shies away from some of the controversy surrounding Indigo such as its political links, its ability to get key Delhi/Mumbai slots, its placing of plane orders even without having a flying license, issues with Enforcement Directorate etc

The Book contains lots of data and charts which make it very interesting for those following the aviation sector.

The Book also has material on each of the different competitors of Indigo.

After reading the Book I was finally able to understand, why Jet was not able to capitalise on the demise of Kingfisher Airlines and it was Indigo which rose to be the domestic market leader.

At the end of the Book , there is an interview with Mark Martin , a highly respected aviation expert.I found his views on aviation stocks very illuminating:

“Aviation is one business that can be extremely ruthless; and all it it takes is one emergency landing, crash or hull to wipe off 50% of your stock.That is because the common investor,except knowing best how to interpret an airline’s P&L, has no earthly clue of how the airline business runs.”

I would recommend this Book only for those interested in India’s aviation sector.

One reply on “Book Review : The Indigo Story”

Thanks a lot RaoJi – you have done a very fair and balanced review. My only submission is that this book has been deliberately written in an easy manner to make it readable to a wider audience but without compromising on hard facts and sound business analysis. Also, deliberately avoided some controversial inside tales as they can’t be verified but writing about them can only invite legal repurcurssions (as it would constitute indulging in gossips and hearsay which journalists are often prone to / accused of!). And this book could be particularly useful to young management grads, students who wish to have a deeper understanding of the aviation sector but without getting trapped in a boring text-book style narrative!
Once again thanks a lot Sir!

Warm Regards,
Shelley Vishwajeet
Author, The IndiGo Story
Mob: 9711341009

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