Flying high

At the age of 22, Kanika Tekriwal founded her startup, JetSetGo, with an aim to reform the private jet industry. In conversation with us, she recounts the journey of her now multi-million dollar aviation company


Kanika Tekriwal’s entrepreneurial journey began at 17, involving business development at Aerospace Resources during her college years, where she identified the potential of India’s charter market. She then equipped herself with a MBA from Coventry University in London. Today, her 11-year-old aviation company, JetSetGo, manages, flies, and operates chartered planes and helicopters for owners. And Tekriwa has earned distinctions such as being among BBC’s 100 most inspirational women and Forbes Asia’s top 30 entrepreneurs under 30

Excerpts from the interview:

While private flying is considered a premium luxury, enjoyed by only a few, JetSetGo has changed the game. How did your company come about?

I wanted to make private flying more accessible, economical, efficient, and transparent. The idea for JetSetGo came up in a conversation with a colleague in the U.K. I narrated an idea that I had about setting up a thriving aviation company. However, he did not take it seriously and he laughed out loud. Being Indian and adamant, I was determined to prove him and everybody else who thought along the same lines, wrong. So, I began to chalk up plans and in time, executed my idea.


JetSetGo offers air taxi services and provides intra-city connectivity in India. What is JetSetGo’s USP?

JetSetGo is a leading provider of private aviation services in India, seeking to create a more transparent and accessible marketplace for private jet charter. In addition, JetSetGo has developed a unique approach to aircraft ownership, offering individuals and corporations the opportunity to ‘own’ a private jet with the aircraft available on-demand. Owners benefit from a block of reserved flight hours and priority scheduling, while benefiting from JetSetGo’s aircraft management services as a NSOP operator in full compliance with DGCA regulations. Maximising aircraft utilisation, JetSetGo offers all available and surplus hours to charter customers who wish to utilise a private jet on an ad hoc and pay-as-you-go basis. This flexibility is supported by an unrivalled customer service team responding to customer travel needs received via our website or app search engine, or directly with the customer.

Fleet consistency along with a focus on personalised service defines the unique JetSetGo brand experience. JetSetGo continues to develop responsive customer services and transparency in the private jet marketplace in India, with its own in-house technology team developing bespoke software solutions to meet the unique needs of the Indian marketplace. Along with a forward-looking fleet development plan, focused on the best aircraft solutions to Indian customer needs, this technology edge is a critical USP for JetSetGo in the rapidly growing Indian private aviation market.


You have battled parental opposition as well as cancer to realise your dream. What were some of the other challenges you faced while setting up your company? How did you overcome these roadblocks?

I have lost count of the number of times I have found myself in a boardroom where I was the only woman. I still remember my first sales meeting when I walked into a large conference room and was the last one to arrive. One of the men looked at me and asked if I could serve everyone tea and coffee. It was frustrating, but I gathered my courage and explained why I was there. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is that the aviation industry is dominated by older people, and it hasn’t been disrupted. However, I am committed to changing that by bringing new ideas and innovation to the industry. With my unique perspective and determination, I am confident that I can help lead the way for a more inclusive and forward-thinking aviation sector.


Setting up a company in a male-dominated industry requires several skills and qualities. What qualities helped you build your company to what it is today?

Building and growing JetSetGo has been an incredible journey, and several qualities have played a pivotal role in our success. Firstly, a relentless passion for aviation and a deep understanding of the industry’s nuances enabled us to envision a new horizon for private air travel in India. Secondly, unwavering determination and resilience were key elements. Navigating challenges and uncertainties in a dynamic market required us to stay focused on our goals, adapt swiftly, and never lose sight of our mission to make private aviation more accessible and efficient. Innovation has been a cornerstone of our company. Embracing technology allowed us to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and provide transparency in an industry that often lacked it. This commitment to innovation continuously propels us forward.


Today’s youngsters are thinking more broadly and have different plans for their future employment. For those you want to be entrepreneurs, what would you advise?

I would advise young entrepreneurs to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. I firmly believe in the power of the mind and the principle that if one believes in something, they can achieve it. According to my perspective, the events individuals encounter in their lives are a reflection of the interplay between their thoughts and actions. If you hold a belief and determination to achieve something, your actions naturally align to bring that goal closer.


JetSetGo is known as the ‘Uber of the skies.’ How do you plan to take JetSetGo forward?

India’s business and high net worth community is currently underserved by private aviation services, in comparison to other leading global economies of its size and geographic extent.

Our plans will therefore focus on leading the development of new advanced air mobility solutions and next generation electric-powered aircraft designs (such as ‘eVTOLs’ – electric Vertical Take Off and Landing aircraft) in collaboration with other visionary organisation and businesses, with a particular focus on developing ‘Made in India’ solutions. We also intend developing effective collaborative solutions to the growing need to tackle the impact of climate change from the aviation industry, through reducing and eliminating the emissions of private aviation.