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Cooking Up a Transition

Source | LinkedIn : By Mittu Chandilya

My journey with AirAsia from the start to the finish has been a dream. My experience as the founding CEO and the first employee in AirAsia India has been incredible. There are very few opportunities in one’s life where your profession fits your personality, style and attitude like a glove and I consider myself fortunate, to have had a career trajectory well aligned to my personality throughout the last 14 years of my life. Sure it was not easy work but it was tremendously challenging, stimulating and fun. AirAsia in particular fit my entrepreneurial style as I took on the massive task of inducting the first foreign collaboration airline in India; refusing to take no for an answer and thus laying the cornerstone for other similar Airline ventures to be able to come into India.  When I felt that we had built up a strong foundation and shown signs of growth for AirAsia India which would now allow for a plug- n-play scale up, it was time for me to move on and leave this foundation in the capable hands of the Board and my successor. As Kenny Rogers, in a very different context, sang, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away…”.

To achieve what others believe is impossible truly motivates me. The adrenaline rush from each victory is amazing and is something that gives you the confidence to push further, faster and harder. Building something great takes a lot from you and involves boundless passion and grit; however, once you evolve from the startup stage to full-fledged operations the speed required naturally decelerates and the challenges become business as usual. I am a fighter and honestly, placidity bores me. I love startups and turnarounds and I am certainly not comfortable settling, preferring to constantly deliver at my peak potential. I am an entrepreneur at heart, a change agent and someone who enjoys a good challenge, the more impossible the better for me.

For all of us, personally or professionally, Transitions are inevitable and ready or not, we all go through numerous changes in our lives. I for one embrace change, as it really brings out the best in me. However, it is understandable that there are many out there, not fulfilling their true potential due to their discomfort with venturing into the unknown or the untested. Transitions can be exciting and fun if you approach them the right way.

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