Every entrepreneur has some interesting stories of their journey while setting up their business. Here is the story of one such successful businessman, Santosh Sharma, who not only dared to start his business but took it to the heights of success. Here is an exclusive interview with the inspiration himself.
Since the start-up you brought out is very unique yet fascinating, people are eager to know about it, What exactly is BookMyJet?
Launched in June 2021, BookMyJet is the first technological platform for getting real-time availability of private jets across various Indian cities. The app also helps you gather all the information of the private jets and helicopters, their availability, and their technical specifications. You can book your favourite private jet or helicopter with just the click of a button. The reason behind launching this app is to bridge the gap between the huge demand that this industry has been seeing over the last few years and the shortage of aircraft at various locations across India. With the help of this app, potential customers can see the available aircraft across various cities of India, all the specifications, and succeed in the easy booking.
Right now, we are working very closely to upgrade the technological advantages of this app and making sure that in time, it will not just cover the various cities of India but also put inventory in other parts of the world. We are also tying up with various brands in other spaces so that we can deliver other services to the customers besides the obvious private jet services.
What served as your inspiration or the central idea while starting BookMyJet?
I have been in the general aviation industry for over 17 years now and have seen it evolving and emerging as one of the fastest-growing industries, not just in India but across the world. While this industry in the western countries and the middle east is much more organised and growing very fast, the Indian market is still unorganised and haven’t been able to compete with the leaders in the world. After talking and taking inputs from some industry experts, we started working on this idea of BookMyJet. We launched the BookMyJet app last year and have been working on introducing more features on the platform to engage a larger number of customers.een working on introducing more features on the platform to engage a larger number of customers.
Foresee Aviation, your other startup, what is Foresee all about?
Foresee Aviation Private Limited is a leading charter aviation service in India. The company was co-founded by my business-cum-life partner, Ms Ajuka Mahajan 2011. The idea to launch the company was to bring organization and structure to the private aviation industry. Both Ajuka and me are passionate air travellers who didn’t approve of the existing state of the Indian aviation industry. We understood the importance of private aviation in the aviation sector but bemoaned the lack of a structured system that was apparent in other countries. Hence, to bring order in the industry and remove the several glitches, we decided to become involved in this segment and gave our commitment to take it to the next level. Today Foresee Aviation is synonymous with safety, comfort, tailor-made journeys, and budget-friendly flying. We have served numerous national and international names like Bharat Forge, Suzlon, Hardcastle Restaurants, L’Oréal, BOCI, and JK Cement. Our continuous efforts have been appreciated with prestigious awards like ‘Best Air Charter company in North India’ (by DDPL), ‘India Best 5000 MSME Award’ (for outstanding contribution to the general aviation industry), and Brand Leadership Award 2019’.
What challenges did you encounter while setting up your business? And what did you do to overcome them?
In 2009, when I took a plunge into the entrepreneurial journey, neither I have any prior experience of running any business and also I was short of capital. Initially, I was in a panic state but all thanks to great support from my family and friends, I kept patience and started going slowly and steadily with my venture. I never resorted to shorts cuts & that helped me in building my base strong.
As a person you are a businessman, as a personality you are?
Since I am the first person in my family who started his own business, I am very supportive and extend all kinds of assistance to anyone who comes to me for any kind of help in starting their venture. At the same time, I am very straightforward and transparent in my dealing with my colleagues and customers.
Failures are a part of life, have you ever encountered one? If yes how did you move on?
Success & Failure are a part of any business. Initially, I would get extremely disappointed when I encountered failures, which I had many a time and I still do. However, today when I encounter such a situation, I hold myself back for a moment, analyse the situation, learn where did I go wrong and then move forward by working on corrective measures. At the same time, I don’t stop myself from taking decisions & trying to make them right.
What advice would you like to give to future entrepreneurs?
In today’s highly competitive world, I would suggest budding entrepreneurs keep their basics strong and then build on their venture. Over 90% of the startups fail today in their first year of operation & one of the major reasons for it is lack of research and proper market insight. I
suggest startups spend a lot of time getting as much information as possible about this target audience and market while working on their venture. Last but not the least, don’t compare your journey with others and always do “Happy Business”.