02 March, 2021

Don't Chug It, Fly

Ex-United Airlines chief Rono Dutta is now Sahara boss. Right away, he's started a price war.

Jitender Gupta
Don't Chug It, Fly
He might quote Mahatma Gandhi, read the Vedas and wear khadi. But Ronojoy "Rono" Dutta considers himself a global citizen. The new chief of Air Sahara, better known as the former president of United Airlines, doesn’t like it when people describe him as ‘the second Indian to head an American airline’ (the first was US Airways boss Rakesh Gangwal) or a ‘Bengali in the United cockpit’. "People laugh at my Bengali because I speak a Bangladeshi version and they laugh at my Hindi accent too," says Dutta. He landed in Delhi only three weeks ago, but already loves the city. Dutta’s appointment is quite a coup for the Sahara group, since his CV can give any global high-flier a complex. He wears his success lightly, like his white embroidered kurta-pyjama. "I think I am going to wear this stuff more often," he says when his media consultant divulges that the outfit was chosen for his meeting with Outlook.

Schooling at St Edmund’s, Shillong; B Tech from IIT Kharagpur; a few years at Voltas; Harvard Business School, in 1980; first job in the US with consulting firm...

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