Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport), named after founder of the City – Hiriya Kempegowda – has the unique distinction of being the first Greenfield Airport in India, established on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. This heralded a revolution in Indian aviation, as more airports in the Country were privatised, thereafter.
In January 2001, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), formed under the Companies Act, 1956, was incorporated to build, own and operate BLR Airport for a 60-year concession period. Private promoters hold a 74% stake (Anchorage Infrastructure Investments Holdings Limited: 43.64%; FIH Mauritius Investments Limited: 10.36% and Siemens Projects Ventures: 20%), while the Government (Karnataka State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited: 13%; Airports Authority of India: 13%) hold the remaining 26%.
BLR Airport commenced operations on May 24, 2008 – 33 months from the start of construction. The expansion of the Terminal was completed in 2014 to cater to the steady, unprecedented growth in passenger volumes.
Having served 10 million passengers in 2008, KIAB witnessed phenomenal growth during the subsequent years, becoming the fastest growing airport in the world in 2018. KIAB concluded Calendar Year 2019 with 33.65 million passengers.
Powered with cutting-edge technology, including Contactless Passenger Processing, Self Bag-Drops, Biometric-based self-boarding solution, BLR Airport connects Bengaluru to 61 domestic and 14 international destinations.
Hari is the Managing Director & CEO of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the operator of Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, the third largest airport in India.
Hari is also the Chairman of Bangalore Airport Hotel Ltd. and Bengaluru Airport City Ltd. (BACL) which are the subsidiaries of BIAL. BACL is developing an airport city that will be home to multiple businesses such as IT parks, business parks, health care, bio-technology, knowledge park, retail, entertainment, dining, concert arenas and hospitality. His vision is to transform the Airport into a global leader and role model in the areas of sustainable practices, innovation-led progress and technology leadership.
In 2019, Hari was appointed to the 4-member Heathrow Expansion Advisory Board. Hari is also the Chairman of Karnataka Water Sustainability Task Force of the Confederation of Indian Industries.
Bhaskar has over 25 years of experience, including an international stint with Rashideen Group, a large Dubai-based conglomerate. Prior to that, Bhaskar worked with the GMR Group in India as CFO in the Corporate Finance function, as well as sector CFO for Energy
An experienced finance professional, Chartered Accountant (ICAI, India) and Certified Public Accountant (Delaware, US), Bhaskar has, over the course of his career, managed the finance function for large organisations and has in-depth knowledge in fund raising – equity and debt – financial reporting, accounting & analysis, M&A, working capital management, risk management, managing start-up operations, corporate governance, organisation & team building. Bhaskar was the Founder & CEO of Smart Retail Pvt. Ltd., and nurtured the company from its first store in 2005 to a 50-store chain with a turnover of $ 20 million.
Kenneth has over 25 years of experience in managing the commercial business in the Aviation sector. He has played a pivotal role in establishing commercial goals and roadmaps for all revenue streams at BLR Airport. Prior to joining BIAL, Kenneth managed the role of Commercial Advisor and Management Expert for Newcastle Airports, including Cancun Airport and nine Airports of the ASUR group. His task included evaluation, monitoring and benchmarking work to ensure scaling of targets, while adapting innovation and market dynamics. Before joining BIAL, he was VP, Commercial Strategy at Bali International Airport. Kenneth’s expertise lies in maximising airport revenue, optimising airport assets, pricing policy and customer satisfaction.
Rao is responsible for the development of the Airport City at the KIAB campus. His expertise lies in strategic planning, growth engineering, global alliances, project finance, project management, construction and business development.
In a career spanning over two and a half decades, Rao has handled leadership roles in the infrastructure space and delivered various multi-billion-dollar projects in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Australia and Myanmar. Some of his internationally renowned projects include UOB Plaza and Suntec City in Singapore, Bintan Beach International Resort in Indonesia, MUSE SEZ in Myanmar and Springfield City in Australia. During his stint in India, Rao led the operations of Jurong International as CEO and has developed massive projects such as ITPL & IT Corridor, Bengaluru, Sree City near Chennai, Mahindra World City and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
Rao holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and an additional degree in International Construction Management and Marketing from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is the recipient of the National Science & Technology Board and Guthrie Gold Medals in Singapore.
Satyaki comes to BIAL with nearly two decades of experience in working with public and private sector investors and operators of transport infrastructure, advising on business, finance, strategy, regulatory and project delivery related initiatives. He has extensive experience in transportation and airport system planning across major cities – London, Chicago, Dubai, Houston and New Delhi.
In his role at BIAL, Satyaki is responsible for Strategy and Development, focusing on front-end corporate strategy, traffic forecasting & market analyses, the aviation business focusing on airline marketing, route development, cargo and aviation concessionaires, master planning and the BIAL Centre of Excellence (CoE) comprising Innovation Lab, Business Intelligence and Capacity and Operational Planning. Prior to BIAL, Satyaki was with GMR Airports Ltd as Chief Innovation Officer for the airport sector across the Group. He has also held leadership roles at London Stansted Airport and Dubai Airports, and as Head of Master Planning at LeighFisher, a specialist global airport advisory firm.
An expert in Strategic Marketing & Brand Building, Customer Experience and Digital Transformation, Shalini is responsible for branding, communication and marketing at BIAL.
Prior to joining BIAL, Shalini was a Brand Consultant for Tata Sons. She headed Global Marketing for the Taj Group and Marketing at TetraPak India and Mars India.
Shalini holds Master’s in Marketing from Griffith University, Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar.
Tom has over 35 years of experience in design and construction. A graduate of the Ohio State University in the USA, Tom brings with him vast experience in construction, procurement, contract administration and design management.
His experience includes airport & transportation projects with BIAL, Maldives Airport Company Limited and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), theme parks with Walt Disney Imagineering and the United States Embassy in Taiwan and Moldova. His international exposure spreads across nine countries while working with Fluor Corporation, Hill International, Surbana Jurong and others. This is his second engagement with BIAL, having previously headed the expansion of Terminal 1.
With nearly three decades as a strategic HR Leader, Sajit has been with BIAL since 2014. Sajit’s exemplary people management skills and unique approach to HR – which combines performance management and productivity – and an emphasis on transformation through L&D, has made him a key influencer in HR circles. Previously, he has held senior leadership roles in Tata Motor Finance, Tata Teleservices, Bharti Airtel and Essar Group, where he helped create a fair and transparent structure that resulted in high employee engagement and strategic partnerships.
Throughout his career spanning across Oil, Steel, Telecom, Financial Services and Aviation sectors, Sajit has successfully set up the entire spectrum of business HR, propelling learning and development by designing and implementing significant organisational changes to achieve tangible outcomes through a unique blend of HR competencies and business partnering. He is also a certified Corporate Director by the Institute of Directors.
Jayaraj has over 25 years of experience in the airline and telecommunication sectors, having worked with Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Jet Airways and Maxis Communications. He has extensive knowledge of airline operations and customer experience, commercial strategy, revenue management and pricing, marketing and sales.
Jayaraj started his airline career with Singapore Airlines as an Airport Manager and has worked in multiple countries and managed operations and services in the United States, Russia, India, the Middle East, Europe and countries in the Asia Pacific region. He has also spent three years in the telecommunications industry, overseeing customer experience and operations delivery. Prior to joining BIAL, Jayaraj was the Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice-President at Jet Airways.
In his present role, Jayaraj is responsible for the operations at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru.
George has almost three decades of experience in managing complex IT environments, Strategic Planning, Digital Transformation, IT operations, and implementing new technologies for various corporates in India, USA and Africa. Before joining BIAL, George held leadership roles at GMR Group, Vedanta Group, Bharti Airtel, GE/Genpact and Arch Wireless. In the role of Chief Information Officer at BIAL, George will be responsible for spearheading the IT and Digital initiatives at BLR Airport. He has an MBA in Finance & Systems Management from the University of Connecticut, USA.
Mr. Kumar, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka serves as the Chairman on the Board of Directors at BIAL. He is a Post Graduate in Mathematics. Mr. Kumar holds multiple key positions across various Government Departments which include Energy, Food and Civil Supplies/Consumer Affairs amongst others. Mr. Kumar is an IAS officer of the 1984 batch.
A seasoned aviation professional, Hari brings to the table nearly two decades of experience, having served the industry in various capacities with great distinction. After his stint with Jet Airways, Hari joined BIAL as Head of Daily Operations and thereafter he has held key positions such as Chief Operations Officer, President - Airport and Executive Director & President.
Hari was part of the core leadership team at BIAL that successfully licensed and operationalised the Greenfield Airport project in Bengaluru. In this role, he was instrumental in implementing several modern, state-of-the-art airport management systems, for the first time in India, that resulted in improved operational efficiency of BLR Airport.
Under his leadership, the BLR Airport has transformed itself into the fastest growing Airport in the world and has won several global accolades.
Before moving to Aviation, Hari spent over a decade in the hospitality industry.
Mr. Mohan, IAS is the Principal Secretary, Karnataka State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Department, Government of Karnataka. He holds key positions across various Government organisations, including Konkan Railway Corporation, Hassan Mangalore Rail Development Company Ltd., Karnataka State Forest Industrial Corporation Ltd., Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd., amongst others. A 1990 batch IAS officer, Mr. Mohan is a Management graduate with a background in Science.
Dr. Caur, IAS is the Secretary to Government (Expenditure), Finance Department, Government of Karnataka. She holds key positions across multiple Government organisations that include Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd., Mysore Sales International Ltd., Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd., and Bengaluru Smart City Ltd., amongst others. An IAS Officer from the 2001 batch, Dr. Caur holds a Ph. D and post graduate degree in Psychology.
Mr. Madhavan Rangaswamy is a Commerce Graduate from National College, Trichy, of the then University of Madras. He is also a Member of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India and holds a Specialized Diploma in Management from IGNOU. Mr. Rangaswamy joined Airports Authority of India (“AAI”) in the year 1994 and has served AAI in various capacities at Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata Airports apart from Corporate Headquarters at New Delhi. He was in-charge of process of selection of a private partner for six Airports across the country for their operation, management and development for a 50-year concession period, by virtue of which AAI is estimated to generate several crores of revenue. Currently he is the Regional Executive Director of Southern Region of AAI. He is also one of the Directors on the Board of Kannur International Airport Limited.(KIAL) as AAI nominee.
Mr. Joyanta Chakraborty is an IRSEE Electrical Engineer of 2005 batch and an ex-IPS Officer 2011 batch of Odisha Cadre. He has done Bachelor of Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Mr. Chakraborty joined Indian Railway Service in the year 2006 as an Assistant Divisional Electrical Engineer and thereafter he served Indian Railways in various capacities. Mr. Chakraborty joined the Indian Police Service (“IPS”) in 2011 and posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police at Ganjam District, Odisha. Later, he left IPS in 2013 to join back Indian Railway Service. Mr. Chakraborty was also instrumental in ensuring the Railway Board’s Sanction for Provision of End of Train Telemetry Project in all freight trains in Indian Railways. He has undergone training in Metro technology at CRRC Dalian, China and Three Phase State of the Art Highest Horse Power Electric Locomotive Propulsion Technology at Alstom, Paris. He is also one of the Directors on the Board of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited.(“GMR HIAL”) and Chandigarh International Airport Limited (“CIAL”) as AAI nominee.
Mr. Ratnaswami is the Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax India Holdings Corporation. He is also the Managing Director of Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel Ltd. At Hamblin Watsa, Mr. Ratnaswami is responsible for portfolio investments in Asia. He serves as Director on the Board of Fairbridge Capital Private Ltd. and several other Boards. Mr. Ratnaswami holds a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Madras and an MBA from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Mr. Maheshwari has been the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fairbridge since May 2018 and was appointed as a member of the Board in July 2018. Previously, Mr. Maheshwari was Vice President at Fairbridge and has been working at Fairbridge since July 2011. Prior to joining Fairbridge, Mr. Maheshwari worked with KPMG in India for 5 years in their audit and accounting advisory functions. Mr. Maheshwari specialises in Indian GAAP, US GAAP and IFRS accounting standards. Mr. Maheshwari serves on the Board of several Fairfax Group portfolio companies in India. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant, has completed the Post Graduate Programme in Management from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Mumbai.
Mr. Wetters is a representative of Siemens Project Venture GmbH, Germany on the Board of BIAL and brings with him expertise in man management and administrative skills. He also has expertise in the field of finance and budgetary controls.
Mr. Turnwald started his career with Siemens in commercial, project management of large thermal power plants, followed by projects and performance controlling with reporting line to Siemens’ executive management. Currently, an Investment Manager at Siemens Project Ventures GmbH (“SPV”), he is responsible for an Investment portfolio including two onshore and three offshore wind farms in Europe, as well as SPV’s investment in BIAL. Mr. Turnwald has international work experience as a Financial Advisor in Northern Europe, USA and Middle East region.
Mr. Soundarajan is Managing Director at Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel Ltd. Prior to this, he was the Chief Investment Officer at ICICI Lombard, the largest private sector property and casualty insurance company in India. Mr. Soundarajan held the position of Head of investments at ICICI Lombard from 2001 to 2018 and was a Member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Soundarajan serves as a Director on the Board of Fairfax India Holdings Corporation, FIH Mauritius Investments Ltd., FTH Private Investments Ltd., Anchorage Infrastructure Investments Holdings Ltd. and Primary Real Estate Investment Fund.
Mr. Soundarajan holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Madras, is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and is a Qualified Chartered Financial Analyst and Member of the CFA Institute in the United States.
Mr. Hungerbuehler is an aviation expert who has profound experience in handling the various facets of the aviation industry (airline and airport management). He has held key positions across the globe in companies like Swissair, Swissport from 2003 to 2006, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru from 2007 to 2011 and Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd. from 2011 until his retirement in 2016. Mr. Hungerbuehler played a vital role in building, operationalising and managing the Greenfield KIAB, which opened on 24th May 2008. Within a short period of time, the team developed and established the Airport as the Gateway to the South India, on par with world class airports in terms of operational excellence and customer satisfaction.
Ms. Karnad currently holds the position of Managing Director, HDFC Limited. She comes with rich experience in handling Finance, Banking (Mortgage Sector), Human Resources, Communication Strategy and Governance, amongst others. She is also a Parvin Fellow - Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, Princeton University, USA and holds to her credit numerous awards and accolades including 'Outstanding Woman Business Leader' CNBC-TV 18 Indian Business Leader Awards (IBLA). Under her leadership, HDFC has consistently been rolling out new, innovative and customer-friendly mortgage products and services.
Ms. Karnad has a degree in Law from the University of Mumbai and holds a postgraduate in Economics from the University of Delhi.
Mr. Dufresne has over three decades of experience in Air Transport in the international sector at Air Canada. He has a deep knowledge in negotiating and developing commercial partnerships with major International airlines. He also has expertise in working with the Government authorities in Canada and across the globe. Mr. Dufresne is as an active member on the Board of multiple commercial organisations involved in International Air Transport. During his career, he held leadership positions and was instrumental in advancing and expanding Air Canada's global presence through negotiation and acquisition of new international route authorities, as well as the Airline’s partnership with over 30 major international carriers.
Mr. Dufrsne holds a Master's Degree in Law from the Institute of Air & Space Law, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, McGill University.
Note : (a) Mr. T M Vijay Bhaskar, IAS vacated the office as Nominee Director and Chairman of the company with effect from 12th February, 2021 (b). Mr. Vineet Gulati vacated the office as Nominee Director with effect from 3rd February, 2021 and (c). Mr. Venkatramana Ramachandra Hegde vacated the office as Director with effect from 12th February, 2021.