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Gangwal has no interest to take control of IndiGo, says CEO Ronjoy Dutta

  • 20 May 2019

Rakesh Gangwal, one of the promoters of IndiGo, does not want control of the carrier, Ronjoy Dutta, CEO, IndiGo said in a statement. “I am categorically and clearly stating that there is no interest or desire whatsoever on the part of the RG Group to take control of the company. Also, to put to rest the messaging on the fact that the RG Group is attempting to renegotiate the Shareholders Agreement, I am placing on record that the RG Group stands by the current SHA which, in any case, expires this October”. I don’t think Mr. Gangwal could have been more clear and explicit on his intentions and I thank him for authorizing me to make this statement on his behalf,” Dutta said in a letter shared with media.

Dutta commented on every points raised by media depicting that there is a growing disagreements between the two promoters of IndiGo, Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal. “I would like to forcefully address these baseless speculations as they are not in the best interests of our shareholders, our employees and the travelling public,” Dutta said in the letter.

Below is the Dutta’s letter to media:

The hiring of law firms: It is true that the IGE group is represented by the law firm of JSA and the RG Group is represented by the law firm of Khaitan & Company. These prestigious law firms have been on retainer by the founders since at least the time of the IPO of the Company in 2015 and they continue to represent the promoters on various ongoing matters as it relates to their shareholding in IndiGo. Thus, the 4 year old ongoing retainer history of the law firms should not be presented or seen as a new revelation.

Management changes: It is true that IndiGo has gone through a number of changes in a continuum that stretches from Aditya Ghosh, to Greg Taylor to a team of highly skilled expatriates to me. I can state unequivocally that every one of these senior leaders contributed a great deal to IndiGo and we are truly grateful for their contributions. But all great companies go through periods of transition as they evolve from one phase of their growth to another and a little bit of turbulence during these transition phases is neither unusual nor unwelcome. Most importantly, the promoters and the Board have worked as a team in making these management changes. We would urge the press not to confuse every management change as a sign of dissonance at the top.

Control issues: There has been some speculation that perhaps some disagreement centers round the RG Group seeking to acquire more control of the management and the Board. I am authorized by Mr. Rakesh Gangwal to make the following statement on his behalf - “I am categorically and clearly stating that there is no interest or desire whatsoever on the part of the RG Group to take control of the company. Also, to put to rest the messaging on the fact that the RG Group is attempting to renegotiate the Shareholders Agreement, I am placing on record that the RG Group stands by the current SHA which, in any case, expires this October”. I don’t think Mr. Gangwal could have been more clear and explicit on his intentions and I thank him for authorizing me to make this statement on his behalf.

Issues of rapid growth and international expansion: Let’s be clear on one fact - IndiGo is an exceptionally successful company and one of the pillars that made it so successful is that it dared to have a bold vision regarding the future of aviation in India. Some in the press are now suggesting that perhaps IndiGo is having second thoughts on the very strategy that made it so spectacularly successful. I am now speaking to our employees who have been such a critical part of IndiGo’s success when I say, please do not believe these baseless speculations, we remain committed to our path of a rapid build-up of airline connectivity within India and to international destinations. Reiterating this, the full Board wants to clearly state that “IndiGo’s strategy in terms of growth and cost leadership remain unchanged, we remain committed to being an institution which benchmarks itself against the best-in-class organizations across the world”.

The full Board also wants me to place on record that they wish to ensure the highest level of Corporate Governance to the Board and to the management functions at IndiGo. Towards this, more recently, the IGE Group nominated Mr. Damodaran, who has a wealth of Board experience on governance issues, as the new Chairman of the Board. He is fully supported by the members of the Board and the management team.

We all know, that in any strong and well-managed company there will always be differences. And, yes, there may be differences currently on certain matters but the Company has a great track record of resolving issues and coming out ahead. If the current differences were to not get resolved, you shall certainly hear about it; however, it serves no purpose speculating about it.

I deeply resent and wish to dispel all attempts to portray us as a fractured team at IndiGo. The truth is that we are all very much united in vision, purpose and direction as we move forward to build a world class.

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