By Staff Correspondent
The Board of Directors (Board) of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) today announced the appointment of Dr. Venkataramani Sumantran, an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Board since May 28, 2020, as its Chairman. Dr. Sumantran succeeds Mr. Meleveetil Damodaran, who has stepped down as an Independent Non-Executive Director on May 3, 2022, on attaining the age of 75 years. While thanking Mr. Damodaran for his services, Mr. Rahul Bhatia, Managing Director, IndiGo, said, “It has been a great privilege to have had the benefit of Mr. Damodaran’s wise counsel and steady hand during the difficult and often turbulent COVID period. We have all learned a lot from him on leading-edge governance practices, and his distinguishing leadership and philosophy have left an indelible mark on the IndiGo Board.”
Welcoming Dr. Sumantran to the position of the new Chairman, Mr. Bhatia said, “Dr. Sumantran is an outstanding business leader as well as a highly experienced member of the IndiGo Board, thereby facilitating a seamless transition of the Chairmanship of the Board. As we get ready for the next phase of our ambitious overseas expansion, Dr. Sumantran’s understanding of international markets and world-class global practices will serve us well. His repertoire of knowledge of how best to leverage technology will be extremely valuable in our future growth. With safety and employee engagement as our key pillars, we have always found Dr. Sumantran’s insights invaluable.”
Dr. Sumantran is a business leader, technocrat and academic, having worked in the USA, Europe, and Asia through a career spanning over 37 years. He is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Celeris Technologies, a strategic advisory firm engaged in the domains of automotive, mobility, digital transformation, and technologies. He also serves on the Boards of Rane Holdings Limited, and TVS Electronics Limited.
Until 2014, he was the Executive Vice-Chairman of Hinduja Automotive (UK) and the Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland Limited. Previously, from 2001 to 2005, Dr. Sumantran was the Executive Director at Tata Motors Limited and Chief Executive of the Passenger Car Business during its formative years. Earlier, Dr. Sumantran had a 16-year career with General Motors, starting in the Research & Development (R&D) Centre in Detroit and subsequently as Director, Advanced Engineering at General Motors, Europe.
He has served on the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, and the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Indian Cabinet. Most recently, he served as the Lead-Member of the Consultative Group on Future Transportation at the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. He also served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at IIT Madras and Adjunct Professor at MIT MISI.
A recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award at IIT Madras, Dr. Sumantran went on to acquire a PhD degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s degree in Management of Technology. He obtained his private pilot’s licence at the age of 19 years and has remained a keen follower of aviation and aerospace technologies.
Reacting to his appointment as the Chairman of the Board, Dr. Sumantran said, “I am honoured to be a part of IndiGo, and now, to take on this role. Since its launch in 2006, the men and women of IndiGo, working with management and the board, have scripted a globally admired success-story achieved through a focus on customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Now, as the world moves beyond COVID, we look forward to serving many more customers while offering them a new digital experience; adding new routes, many of them international; expanding our cargo operations, and continuing to augment our fleet with fuel-efficient aircraft including the XLRs and dedicated freighters. I feel privileged to be a part of an organisation that is committed to making the next chapter even more illustrious than the previous.”