SpiceJet has been a true comeback story in the airline space. It was first taken over by the Sun Group Chief Kalanidhi Maran but Chairman Ajay Singh repurchased it from Maran and has been able to turnaround the airline, which, many thought, would go under.
Now, it is reported that Ajay Singh is planning to spread horizontally into allied businesses. One of his plans is to make investments in some Silicon Valley startups that work on fields related to the aviation business. For this, Ajay Singh is said to be working closely with JetBlue Technology Ventures. JetBlue Airways Corp, an American airliner owns this venture capital firm and has an ongoing model where it supports startups which align their activities with various operations of the airline.
Some of the solutions these startups develop can be useful to the travel industry at large, thereby opening up a business prospect for SpiceJet in India.
The talks between Ajay Singh and JetBlue are said to be at an advanced stage and there may even be an agreement already signed between him in his personal capacity and the venture fund. There has been no official confirmation of this either from Singh or from the Airline.
There are reportedly 15 startups that JetBlue has incubated and funded and some are known associates involved in services like selling air tickets on mobiles and offering analytical data on flight disruptions and so on. Redeam, Lumo and Volantio are the names of these startups.
Reports also indicate that Ajay Singh may rope in a company Airbuy which facilitates air travelers, particularly international travelers, in shopping from duty-free shops in airports while onboard and have the stuffs delivered at the location of their choice. They would not have to spend time at the airport on arrival or departure or even interact with the seller.
Besides, this, back home Ajay Singh is also reported to be keen on setting up a logistics business. There are also reports directly attributed to statements made by Singh on his plans to start making seaplanes and starting a flight service between Kolkata and Chittagong in Bangladesh.