Have Indigo promoters Bhatia and Gangwal smoked the peace pipe already?

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 27, 2019

Rahul Bhatia (left) and Rakesh Gangwal, co-promoters of IndiGo   -  V_V_Krishnan

Has a rapprochement between Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal, the two co-promoters of IndiGo airline, been reached or is it even possible?

While Gangwal kept away from IndiGo’s 16th Annual General Meeting held here today, Bhatia responding to queries from investors saying Gangwal had recently made a statement (where) he has talked about mending fences. “I think his actions will speak louder than his website over time,” Bhatia said.

Bhatia did not clarify which of Gangwal’s statement he was referring to which made him feel that Gangwal was mending fences. On August 23, Gangwal had issued a statement that he was willing to support the changes to the company’s Articles of Association. In that statement Gangawal had pointed out that the Board had approved a new ‘Related Party Transactions’ policy and also closing an open issue if the Articles of Association were amended at the AGM held today to increase the Board size to 10.

Gangwal’s approval was necessary otherwise the resolutions might have been defeated.

In response to another question, Bhatia said what was important to understand was that over time organisations have to outgrow the parent. “To that extent I feel the company is rapidly moving towards where it can stand on its own two feet,” Bhatia said thereby negating some of the positive intent shown by Gangwal earlier.

This is because when IndiGo started Gangwal and Bhatia were co-partners. But earlier this year an open war of words had broken out between them. Gangwal had accused Bhatia of not following norms of corporate governance and benefiting from Related Party Transactions. Bhatia had denied both these charges.

While acknowledging Gangwal’s contribution to the company, Bhatia said: “You can be assured that good sense will prevail over time. I am certain on that. I am a great believer in that nothing remains for ever. Life just keeps moving.”

M Damodaran, Chairman of the IndiGo Board, said that both the gentlemen involved were mature persons and they did not need an intermediary (to sort out differences the differences between them).

“They have been talking to each other and I think there will be a solution round the corner. I am an optimist. So let us see what the future holds,” he said.

Published on August 27, 2019

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