Sumantran has been an independent non-executive director since 28 May, 2020, and succeeded Damodaran on 3 May
India’s largest domestic carrier IndiGo’s parent InterGlobe Aviation named Venkataramani Sumantran as next chairman in a filing to exchanges on May 4 as Meleveetil Damodaran has stepped down from the board after turning 75.
Sumantran has been an independent non-executive director since May 28, 2020 and succeeded Damodaran on May 3.
“As we get ready for the next phase of our ambitious overseas expansion, 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 Sumantran’s insights invaluable,” said Rahul Bhatia, managing director of IndiGo.
Who is Venkataramani Sumantran?
In his 37-year career, Sumantran has worked in the United States, Europe and Asia. He is currently CMD of strategic advisory firm Celeris Technologies, which specialises in digital, auto, mobility and tech domains. He also serves on boards of Rane Holdings and TVS Electronics.
Prior to this, he was executive vice-chairman of Hinduja Automotive (UK) and vice chairman of Ashok Leyland till 2014. From 2001-2005 Sumantran was executive director at Tata Motors and CEO of the passenger car business during its formative years.
He also had a 16-year career with General Motors, starting in the R&D centre in Detroit before becoming director of advanced engineering at Europe.
He has also served on the science advisory council to the prime minister and on the scientific advisory committee to the Indian Cabinet. Most recently, he served as the lead member of the consultative group on future transport at the office of the principal scientific advisor to the government. He also served as a distinguished visiting professor at IFT Madras and adjunct professor at MIT MISI.
Sumantran is a recipient of the distinguished alumnus award at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. He has a PhD in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in management of technology. He obtained his private pilot’s licence at the age of 19 and has remained a keen follower of aviation and aerospace technologies.
What’s in store?
“Now, as the world moves beyond COVID-19, we look forward to serving many more customers while offering them a new digital experience; adding new routes, of them international; expanding our cargo operations, and continuing to augment our fleet with fuel-efficient aircraft including the XLRS and dedicated freighters,” Sumantran said.
IndiGo is amongst the fastest growing low-cost carriers in the world. Its fleet of 275 plus aircraft operates more than 500 daily flights connecting 73 domestic and 24 international destinations.