Meet Kanika Tekriwal, A Woman Who Owns 10 Private Jets For Her Aviation Startup

JetSetGo, founded by Kanika Tekriwal, is sometimes called the Uber of the Indian skies, a plane and helicopter chartering operation that can make flying more accessible to everyone.

A dream to fly high

Kanika Tekriwal co-founded her company with her friend Sudheer Perla. It is an Online Airplane Aggregator Firm established in 2014. The 33-year-old M.B.A. graduate aims to make private flying in India more transparent, economical, and efficient.


Born in an orthodox Marwari family, her father was running a real estate and chemical business. Kanika got a boarding school education in South India. She later moved to Mumbai for her undergrad in economics and a diploma in design.

When she was just 17, she worked part-time and helped set up the aviation division for real estate powerhouse Indiabulls.

“I started working a full-time job in aviation and only going to college to give exams. Everything that I know about aviation I learned on the job; today, I can assemble and disassemble a plane blindfolded,” she said.


Later then she moved to London to get an M.B.A. from Coventry University. While in college she operated with Aerospace Resources in business development and took on the potential for the charter market in India.

In 2011, she was back in Bhopal and doctors told her that she was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkins lymphoma. But she got better in a year.

The start of JetSetGo

After winning against cancer, Kanika left India due to her family’s continuous pressure for marriage. After doing a job for a few years in the UK, she very soon returned to India to start her entrepreneurship journey. She started JetSetGo when she had $100 in her pocket. In a year, she built an organization of 70 employees.


“I have always been very passionate about aircraft and wanted to become a pilot, unlike my parents who wanted me to study a marriageable subject such as design and get married,” Kanika said.

JetSetGo is an online airplane aggregator platform that manages, operates, and flies planes for plane lessors. The startup also provides chartered aircraft to customers for visiting different places. And, the company also provides its services in case of emergency evacuations.

“The decision for JetSetGo started with a discussion I had with a colleague in the U.K. I conveyed an idea that I had about setting up a thriving aviation company, born in India. It was not aimed at making my colleague laugh, but that’s what happened. Being Indian and headstrong, I was determined to prove him, and everybody else wrong. I chose aviation because it has been my passion,” she said.


Initially, the private jet industry was going through a tough phase. Customers were not happy with their booking experiences. Private jet owners also had other issues with the private firms regarding handling their jets.

People were predicting that she may not survive in the male-dominated aviation industry. But, Kanika’s efforts helped the company to get back on track. Today, the company is the largest private aviation aggregator platform in India.

She got recognized for her outstanding services worldwide. World Economic Forum awarded her as Young Global Leader. She also got featured in BBC 100 women of 2015, 30 under 30 by Forbes Asia, and CNN’s 20 under 40. NITI Ayog also awarded her with National Entrepreneurship Award.

Now, JetSetGo either manages or has exclusive marketing contracts for 16 aircraft-ranging from Falcons to Hawkers to Challengers with 7 to 18 seats. This makes it the largest fleet in India, and the outfit operates anywhere from 4 to 20 flights a day.