A London-based private equity investor, Bhanu Choudhrie has been investing in the aviation industry since the early 2000s. Early on, he took a big risk when, with four partners, he invested in and an Indian airline carrier. He says that when they made this investment they figured that if it didn’t work out at least they could all say they owned an airline.
As it turns out, this risk paid off.
This air carrier ended up creating the domestic Indian airline industry. It’s a low-cost carrier and so people who were used to traveling for days on a train to get to another village felt comfortable flying instead. Bhanu Choudhrie says they made a big profit when they sold this company five years later to Kingfisher.
The executive director of C&C Alpha Group, Bhanu Choudhrie says his company has a pretty good track record of success. Of every five investments they make, three end in failure. Considering that on average 90% of startups fail, having a 40% success rate is really quite good. In addition to aviation, he has also started healthcare companies in the UK, hospitality companies in India and the Middle East, and other successful firms. C&C Alpha Group is a broadly diversified company with many subsidiaries. Learn more about the group’s portfolio at ccalphagroup.co.uk
Another aviation company his firm owns is Alpha Aviation Group (AAA). Based in the UAE, this company trains commercial pilots for carriers around the world. Bhanu Choudhrie said when he owned the airline carrier he saw firsthand that there were not enough pilots to meet demand. Seeing this as a business opportunity, he launched AAA in the spring of 2009. He recently flew to the UAE to celebrate the 10th anniversary.
He is a board member of New Century Bank in the United States. Bhanu Choudhrie said he was happy to get back into financial services at this community bank. His great grandfather was the top executive at Punjab National Bank in India before it was nationalized by the federal government in 1969. It was for this reason that nobody in his family wanted to get involved in financial services for nearly 50 years.