Person of the Year Award Function
Vol 7 Issue 17, Apr 22 - 28, 2016
    Citizen Reporters      |   | Submit Story
Green WarriorsSocial EntrepreneursUnsung Heroes

Adored by millions, Capt Gopinath is a man of many faces

   By  Sudha Narasimhachar
   Bengaluru
01 May 2016
Posted 27-Aug-2010
Vol 0 Issue 0

"I reared cattle to sell milk, got into poultry farming, silkworm farming, then turned a motor cycle dealer, an Udipi hotel owner, a stock broker, an irrigation equipment dealer, an agricultural consultant, a politician and finally an aviation entrepreneur - struggling, falling, rising, falling, rising again and taking off."

If these lines give you a sense of déjà vu do not bother. They are from the book ‘Simply Fly’, the autobiography of business baron Captain Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath.

But then, those lines do not speak about one thing that Capt Gopinath, as he is popularly known, did in his life – one of his passions that earned him the title ‘Captain’.

After completing his primary schooling in a small village of Gorur in Hassan District, Karnataka, Gopinath joined the Sainik School, Bijapur and most naturally entered the National Defence Academy.  

Courage to take risks was one of
Captain’s secrets of success

Subsequently, as a logical progression, he was commissioned in the army and served for eight years. It was only after he retired from military service as a ‘Captain’ that he tried out all those things that he himself has listed in his inspiring autobiography.

But he did not chuck any of those professions he had mentioned because he failed in them – but because his busy mind was always thinking of another interesting venture, which he could not but try.

He became a household name only after he started Deccan Aviation, which made flying a possibility for the common middle-class man. Millions benefited from the man’s dream. However, his life from the beginning is inspiring and worth emulating. 

Born among eight children to a school teacher in Gorur village, Gopinath has today risen to national and international fame, purely by his untiring hunger for innovation and creativity.  Whatever he did, he tried to innovate and improvise. 

He was a pioneer in introducing silk-worm farming to the farmers of Hassan District, so that they could increase their earnings.  The famed Kannada writer Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar happens to be his mother’s maternal uncle.

‘Simply Fly’ gives a gripping account of the Captain’s journey from Gorur village to Bangalore, as the founder of the revolutionary Deccan Aviation Company, which changed the whole concept that flying is a luxury.  Flying now has become a ‘commodity’ just like any other commodity, in Captain’s own words.  

Even after he sold off ‘Deccan Air’, people remember him as the man who brought flying down to earth. He has said that the idea of a low-cost airline struck him when he was at the Phoenix airport on transit. On realizing that the airport handled 1,000 flights and 100,000 passengers a day, he wondered how it could be.

An airport in the middle of a desert, handling more flights and passengers than all of India's 40 airports together at that point of time made him ponder. But not just being amazed, he found inspiration in that fact and went ahead with the dream after meeting two old friends – both being helicopter pilots in the army.

The predecessor to Air Deccan was a helicopter charter company. Well, he never looked back again. Perhaps he might strike again with another idea to capture the imagination of the Indian middle-class. But knowing from him, how he made it in life and what he plans to do is amazing.


Full Article: Captain Speak

Print  |  Email  | 
 Share   

You might also like:

A grandpa’s story

At 97, Sudhanshu Biswas is a busy man. Taking care of 50 boys and 6 senior citizens, meticulously monitoring if they are served food on time and so on, at his home near Kolkata, he keeps visitors waiting. G Singh found the waiting worthwhile

Read More

Women on move

That tribal and rural women need not live on the fringes was proved when 500 artisans, weavers and farmers exhibited and sold their organic products and handicrafts in Delhi, says Tripti Nath

Read More

Stories on Innovations & Innovators
The Lead Star Digital Issue
adyar bakery
 
Mentoring Tamil Nadu



Popular Stories

Family lunch

When there is an eatery at every nook and cranny, why do people travel as far as 200 km for lunch in an obscure village near Erode? Usha Prasad brings the flavour of UBM Namma Veetu Saapaadu, served in a plantain leaf for the whole family

Read More

Grit gets success

From selling samosas on Chennai streets to setting up his own pakora shop to owning a Rs 1.5 crore company supplying delicacies to five star hotels, J Haja Funyamin has come a long way. P C Vinoj Kumar captures the flavour of a success story

Read More

Watershed innovation

Bhungroo in Gujarati means a hollow pipe. But Biplab Ketan Paul gave the word a new meaning by an innovation that has led to water availability, soil improvement and women empowerment, thus helping 14,000 farmers, says Kavita Kanan Chandra

Read More

Momo monarchs

Two friends in Kolkata, keen on turning their culinary delight into business, rejected job offers in a campus interview to start a momo kiosk. Eight years on, their venture started with Rs.30,000 has grown into a Rs.100 Cr entity, says G Singh

Read More

Model farmer

In a region known for farmer suicides and parched fields, Gudivada Nagaratnam Naidu returned to his roots, giving up a job, and went on to create a farm revolution. S Sainath visited Naidu’s farm near Hyderabad that’s even got an apple tree

Read More

Quality of success

Aasife Biriyani, popular among Chennai’s foodies and sold through nine outlets, was dispensed from a pushcart 18 years ago. Founder Aasife Ahmed made it a Rs 70 crore turnover chain by just not compromising on quality, says P C Vinoj Kumar

Read More

A free lunch

An ordinary simple middle class couple has been serving free lunch to 34 senior citizens in Mumbai since 2012. Somma Banerjjee finds out why Yvonne and Mark D’Souza are so selfless in service

Read More

Doctor Poor

A doctor extraordinaire, 33-year-old Sunilkumar Hebbi treats patients for free and has conducted over 650 medical camps in and around Bengaluru, benefitting 30,000 poor people. Usha Prasad tells us how a beggar inspired him to serve the poor

Read More

Caring the carer

People caring for patients in government hospitals often stay hungry. But a Good Samaritan acknowledges their service and takes care of them too by providing them food, says P C Vinoj Kumar

Read More

Water saver

The innovation by Uttam Banerjee is a godsend to the country that needs to go in for water conservation in a big way. Fitting Zerodor, a polymeric wall, to ceramic urinals would save 50,000 to 1,51,000 litres of water, says Narendra Kaushik

Read More
 
Kudos image

"The Weekend Leader not only gives a glimpse of the better things happening around us but also tells stories of people who made it possible.”

Ajay Chaturvedi, Entrepreneur More Kudos
 
Archives  |   Columns  |   About Us  |   Contact Us  |   Feedback  |   Response  |     |   Cheers!  |   Support Us  |   Friends of Positive Journalism
© Copyright The Weekend Leader.com, 2010. All rights reserved.