AirAsia CEO: Giving flight to his dreams


Mittu Chandilya is, by his own admission, an unsatisfied man. “I think in the core of my DNA, I am an unsatisfied person as there has never been a goal that I have hit and been content with it,” says the CEO of AirAsia India, when we meet for a chat at the ITC Maratha in Andheri.

But going by Chandilya’s fairytale success, we decide that being perpetually unsatisfied must be a pretty great state of mind to be in. He set up and sold his first business at 19 years of age to Coca-Cola in the US and became a company’s general manager at 23. And now, at 34, he is one of the youngest CEOs to head an airline in the country. “It all comes back to something my father always told me. That, nothing is impossible,” he smiles.

Dressed in a well-cut blazer, with an amiable disposition to match, Chandilya looks every bit the handsome former model that his detractors speak of, often in rather accusatory tones. “Yeah, I know (that people tend to think good-looking men and women are “bimbos”),” he says. And is that irksome? “No, in fact I love it. Let them underestimate me,” he grins.


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