This Self-made NRI Entrepreneur from USA Bids for Air India and Plans to Invest $9 Billion in Indian Aviation

Finally, the cash-strapped Air India Limited is nearing its long-overdue disinvestment, with multiple bidders having filed the Express of Interest early this week. Speculation is rife over the resurrection of Air India from its current abject state to its unmatched luxury and glamour in the good old days. The odds of winning the bid for privatization of Air India do, reportedly, scale higher for the Tata Group than other bidders in the race. Apparently, the Tata Group is gearing up for the homecoming of the airline, which they had founded, sowing the seeds of Indian aviation.

Air India bidders, Air India sale news, Interups Inc Laxmi Prasad

In addition to the front-row bidders for the Air India sale, an NRI from the United States has appeared like a dark horse in the bidding race. A resident of New York, Laxmi Prasad Palaypu followed them and put in an Expression of Interest for Air India’s strategic disinvestment through his financial firm, Interups Inc., with plans to infuse $9 billion into Indian aviation over the next five years. The Chairman of New York-based Interups Inc., Laxmi Prasad is flexing his financial muscle supporting a consortium of the 219 Air India employees who came forward to run the airline.

Laxmi Prasad, who became an insurance agent from a chartered accountant after he moved to the United States and plunged into entrepreneurship over time, partnered with the AI employees on the promissory grounds of letting them run the airline as they are familiar with the nitty-gritty of the airline. According to several media reports, he plans to give them a 51% stake in the airline while he would retain the rest. His financial firm, Interups Inc., is known for turning things around. Each of the 219 Air India employees offers to contribute at least INR 1 lakh.

As of date, Interups Inc. that he acquired in 2016 manages a collective fund base of $10.8 billion for retirement accounts of over 27,000 clients in the United States. He ventured into business with the launch of his first company, IBSN Inc. in 2002, and he filed income tax returns for more than half of the Indian migration population comprising mainly software professionals in the US by 2007. He moved to the US in 1997. He learned business dynamics and developed an entrepreneurial zeal while working as an insurance agent at Prudential Financial in the US.

A qualified chartered accountant, Laxmi Prasad worked in several audit firms in his home town, Hyderabad, for a decade. He is a renowned professional with absolute knowledge of corporate structuring, taxation and cross-border transactions. He has advised more than 110,000 Indian migrants in the US on retirement planning in India. He has recently invested in a Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm. He is currently in New Delhi working on the bidding proposal.

Both media and Netizens are equally curious about his intent on buying the debt-ridden Air India. “It’s not the profit in the airline industry that is attracting us. But the digitization that will happen and the massive data generation that will help us expand in other services,” says Indian-origin Laxmi Prasad. In short, he is looking to dig into a mine of data from the aviation business for the growth of his existing business ventures.

Whoever will win the bid for Air India’s privatization will get control of the airline’s 4400 domestic and 1800 international landing and parking slots at airports in India and 900 slots at international airports abroad. The disinvestment of Air India Limited will also give the bidder 100% ownership of its low-cost arm, Air India Express, and a 50% stake in AISATS’ services for cargo handling and ground operations at major Indian airports.

Ajay Singh, CEO of SpiceJet, has also made a bid seeking to own and run the airline. The Government of India will announce the bid winner on January 5, 2021. Notably, Air India’s well-wishers expect the Tata Group to win the bid because of the latter’s decades of experience in international aviation. Who would you like to take over the rein of Air India flights worldwide?

3 thoughts on “This Self-made NRI Entrepreneur from USA Bids for Air India and Plans to Invest $9 Billion in Indian Aviation

  1. Tirlok Malik

    we NRIS love India and I feel we can contribute towards India growth.
    Laxmi prasad ji is a new Yorker like me.
    WE will love to see India succeeds in all areas.
    as India has lot to ocntribute to the world.
    Tirlok Malik
    A new york Emmy nominated Film Maker and Happy life yoga speaker

  2. Gopalakrishnan

    Congratulations Mr Lakshmi Prasad. You Know about Gulf airlines,and how they grew to this level. If you like to do any improvement in AI ,first you have to have a GRIP on their dam UNIONs ,along with many other things, customer service , Government interferences , Punctuality . Good luck to you we may come back to Air India .


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