Flight Of An Aviator
Gyanendra Bhakta Joshi
Gyanendra Bhakta Joshi, Managing Director of Swift Air, is determined to touch the sky with his dream project. It is his passion for aircraft and tourism that drove Joshi to set up his own airline. He says he decided to venture into the airline sector to set a milestone in the aviation market.
By Gaurav Aryal
Once on the day of Vijaya Dashami, Gyanendra Bhakta Joshi's elder brother blessed him that he would own an airline one day. While working with Skyline Airlines that is not in existence today, Joshi secretly wished he would have a company of his own. His dream got a new life after meeting Bishnu Prasad Khadgi, now his friend and business partner.
Joshi is Managing Director (MD) of Swift Air Nepal Pvt Ltd, a newly established domestic airline. Swift Air is planning to commence its operations from October. He said that the company is bringing in two aircraft in first phase. Of these two, the first one is to arrive in October. Joshi, enthusiastic about making his dream project come alive, is spending day and night just to make sure that his dream is realised.
It was in the alleys of Ason that Joshi wandered around as a child. Though his ancestors were from Bhaktapur, his grandfathers moved to Kathmandu. He went to St Xavier's School Godavary and later transferred to Ananda Kuti Vidyapeeth at Swayambhu, where he completed his schooling. He credits St Xavier's for making his academic base strong. Joshi graduated in Commerce from Shankar Dev Campus.
His family had a hardware store at Ason. Joshi's father and grandfathers had dedicated their life entirely to business. But his uncles took to the service industry. Joshi followed their footsteps and landed in the tourism sector.
He began his career from assistant level in Everest Express Tours and Travels around 25 years ago. That was my first job and I was paid Rs 400 a month, he recalls. In the following years, he worked in Pristine Travels, Tiger Tops Resort and even USAID. Then, I entered the aviation sector with Skyline Airlines in a managerial position, he shares his journey to the airlines business. He has even worked as Sales Manager with GMG Airlines of Bangladesh. I like this sector, so, now I am fully into it, says Joshi. He says his career in the tourism, travel and airlines helped him develop a passion for these areas. Joshi reveals, he is obsessed with aircraft and often visits websites of Boeing and Airbus to update himself with the latest developments and innovations. Now, I have my own aviation company because of that passion, he boasts. Joshi is proud that he has made his brother's blessings become a reality.
Joshi counts Skyline's Executive Director Dorje Sherpa as his aviation guru. Whatever I have learned, I learned it from him. I express my gratitude to him for what I have become today, he acknowledges. The aviation know-how did not easily make him the MD of Swift Air. Joshi's hard work, dedication and struggles have paid off.
It was three years back that Joshi had thought of setting up an airline and he even started working towards that. Unfortunately, it did not turn into reality. After one and a half years, he met Bishnu Prasad Khadgi who is now Executive Chairman of Swift Air. With one year of homework they received AOC (Air Operator's Certificate). Joshi's two sons who are living overseas are happy to know about their father's venture.
Khadgi is his only business partner now. Though they had targeted to fly from January 2011, they are now planning for an October launch. Cost is too heavy as it requires setting up offices in every destination. However, this also creates job opportunity in every destination we reach. I feel proud to give employment to more people, he says.
Joshi says his company will have around 70 staff members in the beginning. According to Joshi, good incentives and listening to their complaints will motivate staff. He feels that boss is not always right. Joshi thinks staff is the asset of a company. I advise and assist my staff as and when required. I will treat all my staff equally, he shares his human resource management principle. He believes in giving opportunity to new comers too.
Joshi does not believe in interfering much in the office management. Although, he wants the line of communication maintained.We just want to know what employees are doing. They must also feel that they are working for their own company and we believe they will. When the company prospers, they will prosper too, he opines.
Joshi does not have much to complain about the aviation policy of Nepal. However he is dissatisfied with air traffic problems. He urges the government to find a solution as soon as possible. He sees a good future and market prospect for the travel industry. He reveals this is one of the reasons behind establishing his airline business. He observes that the tourism sector is growing more every year and he wishes it to boom in the future. According to Joshi, aviation industry is doing well. He says, We established the company with the motto: Let's be a part of aviation team in Nepal.
Joshi has already thought of expanding the business in the future. However, he and Khadgi do not have plans to do it within two years. They want to first sustain in the competitive market. After two years, we will go for expansion,he discloses.
I am more focused on my dream project, he says with a touch of grit. At least 12 hours of his day is spent in work. Joshi says he gets time for his family only during mealtime. However, on Saturdays, when he is mostly on leisure, he loves to go on a drive with his wife. Apart from that, his free time is spent meeting with relatives, staying at home, watching TV or listening to music. He does not usually travel but he promises to do so as his new venture will require him to travel. At times, Joshi feels lonely when his sons are not with him. He says being away from sons have become his part of life. Joshi lives with his wife at Sitapaila.
Joshi does not have regrets about his career. He feels he is happy with what his life has given him. I have settled down and I possess everything I need, he expresses contentment. The only regret he has from his life is that he could not save his mother who was suffering from cancer. He took her to the best hospitals in Mumbai and Delhi but she could not be saved. That was the saddest part in our life: for me and my family. It has been almost 15 years, but still I feel like crying when I remember those times, he gets sentimental.
Joshi's life is closely knit with his profession and his dream project. His wishes, his dreams are associated with his newly established company. I just want to see Swift Air growing. The more it grows, the more people will be employed. And, I wish we could add more aircraft to the fleet, he says.
- Not active in social activities
- Not much gadget savvy uses iPhone and a laptop
- Loves driving
- Prefers driving motorcycle to a car in Kathmandu streets
- Does not play games but watches sports channels
- Likes gardening
- Loves watching National Geographic, Discovery, Star Movies, HBO
- Good music fanatic
- Likes reading magazines and newspapers
- Does not drink alcoholic beverages except beer
- Not brand conscious but believes in looking smart
Determined to his achieve success, Joshi is not ready to step back. This is the time to watch him take off and see him touch the sky.