Capt. G.R Gopinath is the founder of Air Deccan - India’s first low cost airline set up in 2003. Shri APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India said, “He is generally acknowledged as the father of India’s low fares airline, which enabled the common man to fly”. Air Deccan went on to revolutionise Indian aviation with its ‘no frills’ business model. Within 3 years Air Deccan’s operations spanned over sixty eight destinations including dozens of unconnected cities. Air Deccan relaunched in 2017, operating regional services under the government’s UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme. Capt. Gopinath is also the founder & Chairman of Deccan Charters (formerly Deccan Aviation), India’s first and today the largest helicopter company in the private sector. Deccan Charters specialises in activities as diverse as: heli-tourism, aerial mapping, geophysical surveys, gas pipeline surveys, support to oil rigs and medical evacuations among others. Presently Deccan Charters operates twelve helicopters and four fixed wing aircraft from eight bases across India and one in Sri Lanka. Prior to his aviation ventures Capt. Gopinath was a commissioned officer in the Indian Army and served in the Bangladesh Liberation war. He was also a successful and environmentally-conscious farmer and was awarded the “Rolex International Award for Enterprise” in 1996 for his ecological silk farming. He has been honoured with the Karnataka Government’s prestigious “Rajotsava Award” and was knighted with the “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur”. Among other awards and honours, he has also been conferred the “ Laureate Award” in the Outstanding Global CEO category by Aviation Week , New York.