IndiGo CEO acknowledges there 'may be' differences within the company, says growth strategy unchanged

IndiGo’s chief executive Ronojoy Dutta Saturday acknowledged there “may be differences” within the airline which, if not resolved, will come out in the open.

But he added the company has a “great track record of resolving issues” and that its growth strategy remains unchanged.

“We all know, that in any strong and well-managed company there will always be differences,” said Dutta.

“And, yes, there may be differences currently on certain matters but the company has a great track record of resolving issues and coming out ahead. If the current differences were to not get resolved, you shall certainly hear about it; however, it serves no purpose speculating about it,” he added without elaborating.

ET reported May 16 on a serious rift between the airline’s founders Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal, which, if not addressed, would hamper the working of the airline.

Sources have said the differences stem from multiple reasons including a shareholders agreement skewed heavily in favout of Bhatia as well as differences in their respective visions for the future of the airline.

The agreement, which expires in October, gives Bhatia’s holding company InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE) the right to appoint the chairman and key managerial personnel, including the managing director, chief executive officer and president of the company. It also has the right to nominate three non-independent directors, one of whom will be non-retiring.

In the statement, Dutta cited Gangwal as saying that the RG Group which represents his and his family’s holding has “no interest or desire” to take control of the company or to renegotiate the shareholders’ agreement.

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The RG Group on the other hand, has the right to nominate just one non-independent director, who will be a non-retiring director.There have been differences on the appointment of senior executives.

Dutta said IndiGo has gone through a continuum of management changes and that “a little bit of turbulence during these transition phases is neither unusual nor unwelcome,”

He said the promoters and the board have “worked as a team in making the management changes” and that not every management change should be seen as a sign of “dissonance” at the top.

Dutta acknowledged that Bhatia is represented by the law firm J Sagar Associates and Gangwal by Khaitan & Co. But he added that have been on retainer by the founders since IndiGo’s IPO in 2015.



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