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'Take deep yoga breaths': IndiGo CEO candidly tells employees promoters' tussle is over

BusinessToday.In     September 3, 2019

IndiGo's co-promoters Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, who had engaged in a long and bitter tussle fight over multiple issues, have finally reached a truce. While the company's 16th AGM last Tuesday signalled the end of differences, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta confirmed the news to anxious employees on email on Monday.

"We had a good annual general meeting on August 27, followed by a very constructive board meeting on August 30," The Times of India quoted Dutta's email. "I am glad that the disagreements have been resolved and we can all discard the shallow breathing borne out of anxiety and take deep Yoga breaths as we restore our tranquility," it added. The co-promoters had been sparring over questionable related party transactions and composition of the company's board, which Gangwal had flagged off as serious corporate governance lapses in India's largest airline.

Both issues have now been satisfactorily sorted out. "We have made some procedural changes to our existing RPT policy and the revised policy has been unanimously approved by the board. Also, the board will be expanded to 10 members and four of the directors will be independent," the email stated. Dutta added that while these promoter differences "never really affected the operations of the company", it is "nice when different branches of the family make peace with each other".

Late last month, Gangwal issued a statement on his website saying that he is satisfied with the new related party transactions (RPTs) protocols approved by the board, and is open to the amendments in the IndiGo's Articles of Association (AoA) to increase the board strength to 10. He also said that the board has closed an open issue that he had raised in his August 5 letter to the board. Post the amendments, in IndiGo's 10-member board, the Bhatia camp shall have the right to nominate five, and Gangwal two.

With the emotional impediment removed, Dutta said IndiGo's expansion into international markets continues at a blistering pace. According to him, by October, IndiGo would have added 41 new international flights year-on-year, taking the airlines rate of international growth to 109 per cent. In fact, by then IndiGo's overseas operations will represent 25 per cent of the total pie. "We should think of our home turf as a rough circle, which extends from Delhi to Istanbul to Singapore to Hong Kong to Chengdu and back to Delhi," he penned.

Also read: IndiGo promoters' spat: Did Rakesh Gangwal throw in the towel?

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