Naresh Goyal is an entrepreneur and the founder of the Indian international airlines Jet Airways.
Naresh Goyal was born on 29 July 1949 (age 68; as in 2018) in Sangrur, Punjab, India. He was educated at the Government Raj High School in Sangrur, Punjab. He completed his Bachelors in Commerce from Government Bikram College of Commerce, Patiala, Punjab. When he was 11-year-old, his family sustained financial crisis and all their belongings, including the house they owned, was auctioned by the government and the banks. His maternal uncle supported him through his college studies. Initially, Naresh wanted to pursue Chartered Accountancy, but due to financial constraints, he took up B. Com.
Family, Wife & Caste
Naresh Goyal was born into a Punjabi Hindu Family. His father was a jewellery dealer and his mother was a homemaker. He lost his father when he was a child. He had an elder brother, late Surinder Kumar Goyal, co-founder of Jet Air (travel agency).
Naresh Goyal married Anita Goyal, who has been associated with Jet Airways since its inception and is also a marketing analyst. The couple has one daughter, Namrata Goyal (Director of the production house named Filmstoc Private Limited) and one son, Nivaan Goyal (the Board of Directors of Jet Airways).
In 1967, after graduation, Naresh joined his uncle’s travel agency as a cashier. In 1969, with his dedication and hard work, Naresh was appointed as the Public Relations Manager of Iraqi Airways. He also served as the Regional Manager for Royal Jordanian Airlines between 1971 to 1974. During this time, he gained experience in the areas of ticketing, reservation and sales and also worked with Indian officers of Middle Eastern Airlines.
In 1974, Naresh borrowed some money from his mother and initiated his own startup travel agency along with his brother, Surinder Kumar Goyal, and named it Jetair. His agency represented sales and marketing of airlines like Air France, Austrian Airlines, and Cathay Pacific. In 1975, Naresh was appointed the Regional Manager of Philippine Airline and handled the commercial operations of the airline in India.
In 1991, the Government of India announced the Open Skies Policy. Naresh used this opportunity to initiate an airline company. In 1992, his travel agency was transformed into Jet Airways. On 5 May 1993, Jet Airways started its operations nationwide, and by 2004, Jet Airways initiated operations of international flights. In 2007, Jet Airways acquired Air Sahara and went on to become the largest air carrier in India by 2010.
- During the 2000s, a Public Interest Litigation was filed against Naresh, alleging to have links with the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. The PIL stated that the Jet Airways was funded by Dawood. However, Naresh was given clean chit by the government and was also given a security clearance.
- In March 2020, he was booked for money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for his involvement in suspicious transactions involving 19 privately held firms associated with him. The Times of India
- The Iconic Indian Award (Aviation) – Bharat International Tourism Bazaar – 2016
- Hall of Fame – Hotel Investment Forum of India – 2011
- Commandeur of the Order of Leopold II – Belgium – 2011
- Lifetime Achievement Award of the Year – Travel Agents Association of India – 2010
- India Business Leader Award – CNBC TV18 – 2009
- Man of the Year Award – Aviation Press Club – 2008
- NDTV Profit Business Award – 2006
- Entrepreneur Of The Year Award – Ernst & Young – 2000
As per 2017, Naresh’s net worth was estimated to be ₹3,000 Crore ($500 Million)
- Naresh’s first salary as a cashier at his uncle’s travel agency was ₹300 per month.
- After his home was auctioned by the government, he moved to his maternal uncle’s home. During his struggling days, Naresh used to sleep on the floor of his uncle’s office.
- From 2004-2006, Naresh was appointed as the Board of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He was re-elected in 2008, and served in the office till 2016.
- Though he owns an airline company, Naresh does not know how to drive a car and neither knows how to swim.
- On 17 July 2018, Naresh signed an $8.8 billion deal to buy 75 aircrafts from Boeing.