rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » He sells jets to India's rich and famous

He sells jets to India's rich and famous

Last updated on: May 22, 2012 17:41 IST

He sells jets to India's rich and famous

     Next

Next
A die hard aviation man Nigel Harwood is a jet set CEO busy selling business aircraft to India's top corporations. He has sustained the highs, lows and turbulence of India's civil aviation sector in his previous stints at Kingfisher and Rolls Royce. Now in this latest job with InterGlobe's private jet arm, he woos India's rich and the famous. The business jet and yacht market is still in its take-off stage but Nigel is convinced it will be cruising in another few years. In a chat with ETNOW's Shaili Chopra on Tee Time, he calls Indian bureaucracy a bane, a billion plus population a boon.

Nigel loves luxury. A big golf enthusiast he also likes to run, play squash and drive his classic sports cars.

They say put a billion dollars in aviation today, you will be left with a million tomorrow. Is the business jet industry similar to airline sector?

That's not the case in private jets space. It's a nascent market where business people are buying these jets to save management time and move into their industrial locations at ease instead of taking long connecting flights.

It's a growing market. People in India are recognizing the benefits of business aviation, and are using it as a tool. We are seeing this across big companies in India.

Click on NEXT for more...

Powered by


Image: Nigel Harwood.
Photographs: Courtesy, ET NOW

     Next

He sells jets to India's rich and famous

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Is the growth in India a bit capped for the jets business, given that the conglomerates are a limited bunch and the slowdown is right here in their face?

Today we have about 250 to 275 aircraft in India. But there's a middle class in India that's growing and high networth individuals in hundreds, 1.2 billion people in general and all that makes for a big market.

We expect that the numbers will grow to 1000 private jets by 2020. That's what most manufacturers would bet on. It is a bullish target, probably a tad too much mainly because we do have infrastructure issues.

The duty remains a big issue when you import an aircraft. So if we can deliver a 50 per cent growth from where we are today by 2020, I think that would be realistic and everyone would be very happy.

Click on NEXT for more...

Powered by


Image: Shaili Chopra with Nigel Harwood.
Photographs: Courtesy, ET NOW
Tags: India

Prev     Next

He sells jets to India's rich and famous

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
How has the austerity in the economy impacted the short term demand? Is buying a jet is directly related to bottomlines?

If you look at the major companies in India they are realizing the value of time. Some of their plants have opened up in parts of India which are quite rural.

Connectivity is an issue and no one wants to take eight hours to reach their plants when they can fly in a jet in 45 minutes.

That's where we are seeing growth and interest. We are also expecting more demand from the mining areas, which although has its own problems at the moment, but we do expect it to come out of that and show some serious growth.

Click on NEXT for more...

Powered by


Photographs: Courtesy, ET NOW
Tags: India

Prev     Next

He sells jets to India's rich and famous

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Where does India fit into the broader emerging market demand in jets?

For one, India is slower on the uptick. China on the other hand has seized the advantages of private jets. They have seen massive growth in the last two years even in the world economic climate that we are in today.

What hinders growth in India is the bureaucracy. Both in terms of tax, duties and regulatory issues in the import of the aircraft and those policies are not in favour at all.

No one is asking for removing the entire duty, that would be too much to ask. Why should it be close to 20 per cent, why not just reduce it? Not only that, it takes about three to four months to import the aircraft into the country. Why?

Click on NEXT for more...

Powered by


Photographs: Courtesy, ET NOW
Tags: India , China

Prev     Next

He sells jets to India's rich and famous

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Has your business in luxury yachts docked because of the drop in discretionary spending?

It's not in trouble, but it is indeed a nascent market. People have not grasped the idea of leisure time with family on a yacht. Most CEOs we see here are working even on holidays. They work seven days a week. I think that will change more.

I am seeing more people talking of wanting jets to fly to Europe, some want their yachts docked in Europe, they want to have nice cars and boats.

The fact that companies are moving overseas in a big way, people will notice how the Western world spends its time, so they will consider and rightly enjoy that. More so, we do put it all together for them as our company helps chartering out their yachts when they don't want to use them.

Share with me a bit of the mega pricing on their objects of desire?

The list price can go anywhere from a million dollars to eight million dollars for yachts to super yachts.

Click on NEXT for more...

Powered by


Photographs: Courtesy, ET NOW
Tags: Europe , India

Prev     Next

He sells jets to India's rich and famous

Prev     More
Prev

More

Despite the mess Indian aviation is, foreign carriers are still pretty keen on an India pie, why?

The cost pressures are mind-boggling. The 1.2 billion people is indeed a big market. Fares are reasonable not quite too different from what they were in the 1990s so yes the interest in Indian aviation remains intact.

My lesson from working in the sector is that nothing is short term, and every thing takes time. This isn't different from any business but the wait can be a bit frustrating so you do have to wait for the fruition in business.

At InterGlobe your boss Rahul Bhatia also plays golf - would you win over or lose to your boss when playing with him?

I would not lose to someone just because he is my boss.

Golf over cricket and tennis, why?

I was always interested in the game, watching Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo from any early age. I took up golf when I realised I was too old to play football at a good level.

To date, what is your proudest golf accomplish?

Breaking 100 for the first time, felt very good.

What's your business motto?

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (PPPPP).If you follow this mantra you can very well achieve everything you may have sought for.

Powered by


Photographs: Courtesy, ET NOW

Prev     More