PAINFUL. That was how Saroj Datta described his exit from Jet Airways, after completing his tenure last month as one of the founding members of the company.
"Leaving a place you worked for 20 years is painful. It is painful to leave those colleagues with whom I have been working many years. Even the thought of not seeing the place where you have been for so many years is painful."
Datta, with over 40 years of experience in the aviation space in India and abroad, was the executive director of Jet Airways since March 1993.
After competing his Masters in economics from Delhi University, he joined Air India in 1962 and then served as the deputy director (planning and international relations) of Air India from 1977.
In 1987, he left Air India to join Kuwait Airways in a senior position.
Datta did not reveal why he decided to step down, but denied reports that he was not keeping well.
"My health issues have all been created by you guys (journalists). Who does not have health problems? I also went through an operation some time back."
Datta, 75, does not plan to sit idle. "I have not taken any decision since it has only been a few days that I left Jet Airways. But I plan to start some business related to aviation soon."
The 1992-founded airline praised Datta for his contributions in helping the airline grow.
"Saroj Datta has been a close friend of mine and an inspirational colleague at Jet Airways," its chairman Naresh Goyal said.
"His technical expertise in aviation matters, his zest to keep himself abreast of the latest developments in the aviation, the corporate and legal worlds, his intellectual abilities, writing skills and eye for detail coupled with his gentle, personal touch, have set him uniquely apart," Goyal was quoted in a release by the airline.
Datta praised Goyal for building a brand like Jet Airways.
"I would like to ask all my former colleagues at Jet Airways to continue to work to ensure that the airline remains at the top in India and finds place in the top five in the world."
Image: Saroj Datta