GR Gopinath is the founder of the low cost airline Air Deccan.He is the Man Who Made Flying Cheap & Affordable for every common man in India.
Early Life and Education:-Captain Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath was born in a Hassan Iyengar family in the remote village of Gorur, Karnataka. His father was a school teacher and a farmer as well. He went to a Kannada-medium school till Class V after which he was selected at the Sainik School that was situated in Bijapur.And later he joined the famed National Defence Academy and then passed out from the Indian Military Academy.
Career:-Once he joined the Army, Captain Gopinath served for eight years before he retired from the 'Armed Forces'.He quit the Army to come back to his village and take up farming. He got into sericulture and eco-farming (award winning Seri culturist).Later, he set up Deccan Charter, India's first private helicopter charter company which was followed by India's first low-cost airline Air Deccan. Air Deccan was one of the first low-cost services in India and was an instant success but due to the excessive competiton from other similar airline carriers, Air Deccan soon started to lose out to the competition.In 2007,Air Deccan consolidate with the Kingfisher Airlines. Currently Air Deccan is known as Kingfisher Red with Vijay Mallya being the CEO and Chairman.The year 2009 saw Captain Gopinath get into the role of a politician when he stood as an independent candidate in the Lok Sabha elections, but failed to gather sufficent support from the general public.
"Simply Fly" an Autobiography :-This is the journey of a boy born in a remote village, who went from riding a bullock cart to owning an airline, a journey of an entrepreneur who built India's first and largest low-cost airline Filled with rich anecdotes of everyday struggles and joys, this is the awe-inspiring story of Captain G.R. Gopinath. This autobiography narrates in gritty detail Captain Gopinath's incredible journey: quitting the Indian Army in the late 1970s with a princely gratuity of Rs 6500, going back to his farm land inundated by the river, converting a piece of barren land to set up a farm for ecologically sustainable silkworm rearing, winning the Rolex award for it, his loves and passions, his extraordinary determination to launch an airline (which touched a crazy market cap of US$ 1.1 billion in less than four years ), in the process rewriting aviation history. This book is among the shortlisted books in 'Popular Category' for Vodafone Crossword Book Awards 2010.This is an autobiography of Gopinath.Former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has mentioned that this book should become a text book in all management institutions.
Awards and Achievements:-1996 – Rolex awards for Enterprise
2005 – Rajyotsava Award ( Karnataka )
2007 – Chevalier de la legion d’Honneur ( France )
Personality of the Decade Award ( K.G. Foundation )
Sir M Visvesvaraya Memorial Award ( Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry ).