Person of the Year 2014
Vol 5 Issue 50, Dec 12 - 18, 2014
    Citizen Reporters      |   | Submit Story
Green WarriorsSocial EntrepreneursUnsung Heroes

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

   By  Sudha Narasimhachar
   Bengaluru
19 Dec 2014
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:

Conscience stirred

Indian civil society has turned its attention on Sri Lanka, where thousands of Tamils were killed in the civil war between Tamil militants and the government forces. Akash Bisht has the story

Read More

A joint triumph

In Rajasthan, you may not expect a forest. But what is more surprising is that it is protected by the local community, whose members enjoy the fruits of conservation. Manu Moudgil explains

Read More
Stories on Innovations & Innovators
FPJs Meet Vidyaakar
adyar bakery
 
Mentoring Tamil Nadu



Popular Stories

Good ball

To counter ‘guns and drugs’, a culture that he saw abroad, Chetan Misra mentors children through football, which he believes is a tool for social and holistic development. Through ‘TheFootballLink’, he promotes the game, says Partho Burman

Read More

Bringing water

By reviving a traditional irrigation system, using modern techniques, an NGO, Gramya Vikash Manch, has channeled water to three parched districts of Assam, raising hopes of a bumper harvest

Read More

Goals to score

From behind the veil, a group of Muslim girls in Mumbra dreamt big and have realised it. First, they learnt playing football, against all odds, and have set up a club. Now they have plans for intellectual pursuits, says Kamayani Bali-Mahabal

Read More

A terminator

Learning that his mother’s swollen legs were caused by mosquitoes, Ignatius Orwin Noronha always wanted to exterminate the blood sucker. Now, he has developed MozziQuit, which promises to make India mosquito free by 2019, says Partho Burman

Read More

Height of concern

From a school teacher in Gurgaon to a benefactor supporting 38,000 students in Ladakh, Sujata Sahu has trekked great heights. Partho Burman tells us about her 17,000ft Foundation that engages volunteer-tourists to help students in the hills

Read More

Martyr’s wife

After losing her husband in an armed conflict in Kashmir, Subhashini Vasanth embarked on a mission to help war widows. A journey with twists and turns has now enabled her to make a difference in the lives of many women, says Tisha Srivastav

Read More

Fruits of labour

‘Pazhamudir Nilayam’, a small venture in 1950s by two brothers in Coimbatore, has grown into a multi-city vegetable and fruit business. Next, the company plans to take orders over phone and internet for home delivery, says P C Vinoj Kumar

Read More

Social technology

When technologists with social conscience innovate, society benefits by getting amazing products that change the life of common people. Bhanu Priya Vyas writes about four innovations showcased at the recent India Social Good Summit in Delhi

Read More

Motorcycle diary

An adventurous ride on a 500 cc motorcycle from Chandigarh took Samiksha Bali Dutta not just to her dream destination, Ladakh, but also helped realise a dream of turning a professional rider

Read More

Teacher Amma

A school teacher, who believes she is a mother to her students, G Sripriya, affectionately called by her students as ‘Priya Amma’ runs 29 tuition centres for underprivileged children through her team of volunteers, says P C Vinoj Kumar

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.