This IIT Graduate Became A Billionaire Aviation Tycoon And Donated ₹100 Cr To His Alma Mater

Rakesh Gangwal is a prominent Indian-American billionaire who holds a place of distinction as one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, and his family holds a nearly 30% stake in IndiGo Airlines.

The Gangwal family were reportedly set to sell around $450 million (₹3,730 crore) worth of shares of the airline in a block deal on Wednesday, according to multiple media reports that cited a term sheet. 

A High-Flying Career

Gangwal’s professional journey has been nothing short of remarkable. His career in the aviation industry spans multiple high-ranking roles within American airspace enterprises. Having served as the CEO of US Airways Group, which went on to become part of American Airlines, he etched his name in the annals of aviation history. Additionally, he held the position of chairman at travel tech firm Worldspan Technologies.

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Gangwal was born in 1953 and had humble beginnings. His academic prowess saw him graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1975. Fueling his hunger for knowledge, he pursued an MBA from the esteemed Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Giving Back To Academics

In 2022, Gangwal captured headlines for donating ₹100 crore to IIT Kanpur to facilitate the establishment of a school of medical sciences and technology, solidifying his commitment to nurturing academic advancement.

Gangwal’s philanthropic endeavours extend beyond Indian borders, having assumed a role on the board of advisers at the University of Colorado (Denver). His personal net worth of approximately Rs 29,218 crore further underscores his influential presence in the financial realm.

Rakesh Gangwal’s storied career in aviation, his strategic decisions and generous contributions to academia have firmly established him as a notable figure both in the financial domain and the realm of societal upliftment.

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Posted In: Success StoriesAmerican ArilinesIIT KanpurRakesh Gangwal