AirWorks: Indian Aviation Services Take Off

Abstract

AirWorks is the largest privately owned aviation services company in India. It has been owned by the Menon family since 1951. Since 2010, AirWorks has been managed by a professionally trained top management team led by Vivek N. Gour. Under Gour’s leadership, AirWorks has embarked on a rapid growth strategy, which has produced a several-fold increase in its revenue between 2010 and 2012. Students will be asked to assess and evaluate this strategy. In 2010, AirWorks acquired a majority share in Air Livery, an aircraft painting and maintenance company based in the United Kingdom. AirWorks also set up joint ventures and partnerships with other players in the aviation sector, including Scandinavian Avionics for avionic maintenance, DC Design for customized interiors, and Spanair for additional hangar space in Delhi. A new hangar was also built at Hosur near Bengaluru, in southern India. Gour updated hangars and set up offices with processes to document, track, and obtain world-class certification from global regulators. He also implemented management training to change the focus of the business from “sell to customers for relationship” to “sell to make money with relationship.” AirWorks’ business priorities were clearly posted in offices, and performance expectations were set with several newly hired professionally trained people. Gour believed that, to seize opportunity whenever it presented itself, one had to be prepared and have the necessary resources ready. This opportunistic approach to strategy, in an emerging country in a sunrise industry that has not yet been opened up by regulators, has allowed AirWorks to survive while dozens of other companies have failed. These decisions indicate a deliberate growth strategy that is based on executing for short-term run rate as well as long-term growth and profitability as the guiding features.

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