I recently read this book Simply fly written by Capt. GR Gopinath of Air Deccan fame. It made a silent impact on me. Here is a person who didn’t have any money to begin but still went ahead to successfully build a low cost airline, while trying other ventures on the way. Yes, that is how most success stories are told. But this book is not a success story if you read it carefully. It is a tale of a man who had the fire and conviction to do something. Grabbing of opportunities and creating one where there is none is also a talent, is what he has proven.
The book begins with Gopi’s childhood in his native village Gorur. His father a teacher and mother a dedicated house wife (as we used to call it before the politically correct arrived). He gets an opportunity to join Sainik school where he learns discipline and rules. Goes on to join NDA and passes out as an officer in the Army. He gets to see various phases of life like war, friendship and adventure. But something is amiss, which makes him travel around in the USA after which he quits the Army.
The real story starts when he returns to his hometown to find that the only land they had, had been occupied by Govt. to build dam across Hemavathi and they were given a dry patch as compensation. He stubbornly decides to try his hand at agriculture in the bare land.
When I read the book I could actually feel the energy and confidence oozing out from this point onwards. He writes about how he was an entrepreneur in always wanting to do something or the other all the time. You get into the story as it unfolds creating a sense of anticipation. The book shows that in most of his decisions he is clever, witty, responsible and ready to take the risk. At one point he allows a helicopter to take off before getting relevant approvals, at the event of inaguration.
The book also shows the dawn of new era in domestic airlines, with the launch of low cost model. Though the airlines was later to be merged with a competitor, it worked well while it did, connecting remote locations to the main channels. It requires guts to try something so new which nobody thought would work.
He describes how life took him on a roller coaster ride and how he enjoyed it and doesn’t mince his words when he talks about certain incidents. The book is written in a pretty straight forward way, in simple English but with a very good diction.
Simply fly leaves us with many tangled thoughts of innovating, enterprising and building something new. A job very well done by Mr. Gopi. I’d say this is a must read for everyone, not only to appreciate our own entrepreneur who made it big but also to encourage the thought of thinking new and thinking big.
Read on to find out what all Gopinath did to reach where he is now. His ventures, his truimphs, his failures, his family, his friends and how he created money where there was none (or little).
I leave you with his philosophy which loosely translates to- don’t wait for the money to come to start doing something. When you want to do something very badly, start doing it and the rest of the things like money fall into place, or you WILL make them fall into place.