Bhanu Choudhrie Invests in Aviation Industry, Future Pilots

Bhanu Choudhrie has navigated a risky path to a place as a successful investor and entrepreneur. He has given back to the community in numerous ways and as a result, he has become an inspiration to those around him and a leader in several industries, especially aviation. Through looking at his path to success, there are several lessons entrepreneurs can take in working towards building an equally promising career.

Starting Down the Road to Success

Bhanu

Born in New Delhi, India, in 1978, Choudhrie had a great start in an entrepreneurial-minded family. In an interview with Ideamensch, he shares, “Our family started investing in the real estate business in India over 30 years ago, my father and uncle started a TV import-export business in the 70s and one of my great grandfathers was the chairman of the Punjab National Bank in India.”

In a family like that, inspiration came easy. However, he still had to earn a name for himself by working hard in school and through higher education. He succeeded in gaining entrance to Boston University where he earned a degree in International Business and Marketing and subsequently, with his excellent performance in college, he gained entrance to Harvard Business School’s Owner Management Program.  

Showing Great Promise in the Business World

After college, Choudhrie started as an intern at JP Morgan in the United States and after building up a wealth of experience, he founded his family-owned private equity group, C&C Alpha Group. His firm began with investments in the healthcare, hotel, real estate and restaurant fields and, through many years of stewarding those investments it finally paid off. Today, the firm has 24 hotels in its roster featuring over 2,000 high-quality hotel rooms. While those four industries continue to serve as part of the core portfolio of C&C Alpha Group, it is the aviation industry that allowed Bhanu to really make his mark.

Developing the Alpha Aviation Group

Choudhrie’s first foray into the aviation industry was with the acquisition of Air Deccan, which he purchased in 2003 as a tiny airline operating just one plane. Within five years, his efforts helped that airline grow in leaps and bounds to provide India with an additional 200 flights per day. With that tremendous growth, they became a force to be reckoned with, forever changing the airline industry in India.

In an interview for This is Money, Choudhrie explained that although it proved successful, there was a lot of doubt in the beginning. “The airline was a risk. Four of us invested and we said at the beginning, ‘if [it] doesn’t work out at least we can say we had an airline.’ It ended up opening up the airline industry in India, with a massive boom in aviation. One, two, even three day journeys on trains for people to get from one village to another became an airline journey away,”. By the end, they were able to not only say they had an airline, but also sell it to Kingfisher for a significant profit.

Overcoming Key Industry Problems

While operating Air Deccan, it became clear that the world needed better pilot training. With that realization, Choudhrie turned his focus toward creating the Alpha Aviation Group in 2006.

Started as a subsidiary of his firm, Alpha Aviation Group was built to provide the world with exceptional flight school offerings for both beginners and advanced pilots. They used their research to identify the best state-of-the-art devices and training techniques to prepare pilots at all skill levels. In response to the need for nearly 300,000 commercial pilots across Southeast Asia, they continually upgraded their facilities with new flight simulators and now, upon entering the simulator bays, trainees can learn how to fly everything from Cessna to Airbus planes. This allowed them to put many accomplished pilots into the field to elevate the success of the industry.

Giving Back to His Community

Beyond solving the need for highly trained airline pilots, Choudhrie wanted to do more to give back to the community. Upon achieving financial success across many different industries, he focused on serving the Path to Success charity, which his mother, Anita Choudhrie, created in 2005. Through the charity, they help disadvantaged children in the UK and India enjoy better educational opportunities, despite a lack of resources. Their work also helps children with disabilities overcome their hardships and achieve their goals.

Over the past 20 years, they have contributed to many different community projects, including the creation of mobility equipment, such as motorized wheelchairs, for adults and kids, the development of a wheelchair basketball club called the London Titans and the establishment of a long-term homeless shelter for vulnerable adults in England. They have also made great strides in supporting relief efforts across Haiti and beyond in response to natural disasters as they occur.

Every step of the way, Bhanu Choudhrie has shown a willingness to work hard and have faith in the process. With that approach, he has been able to achieve phenomenal growth across many different industries. He encourages budding entrepreneurs to follow in his footsteps to achieve their own career goals. All they have to do is remain open to new ideas, work hard and take calculated risks to reach new heights in their professional lives.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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