Instead of taking things slow after this, Gopinath continued to be a man in a hurry and, armed with the spurt in revenue, approached the banks to extend credit of Rs 500 crore.
Again, this was not unusual for the serial entrepreneur who, when faced with predatory pricing of Indian Airlines and Jet Airways, decided that the only recourse for Air Deccan to survive was to expand at "breakneck" speed by acquiring and deploying a mind-boggling 60 aircraft. Going back further, to the days when Air Deccan was still on the drawing board, Gopinath had written, "I began preparing a blue-print for Deccan but still did not ask 'How much will the project cost?'.....Money, I was certain, would be the least of my problems."
Perhaps it was not, in the beginning, but in a cash-guzzling industry like aviation, it soon became one, especially for Deccan 360.
Though the company managed to raise the required Rs 500 crore from banks, it soon ran through that money, says Rikhye, who cites revenue mismanagement as another reason why the venture failed.
Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education, who has known Gopinath for a number of years and even contributed to his 2009 election campaign, adds that financial discipline is one area where Gopinath could improve.
"He has great ideas and knows how to start an enterprise but to manage one, you need good cost-control and the right people in place."
By the end of last year, it was reported that all the aircraft purchased by Deccan 360 were now up for sale. The staff had also been advised to look for jobs elsewhere.
Srinath Manda of analysts Frost & Sullivan says the enterprise also suffered because express cargo in India is seen more as a luxury than a necessity.
"Air cargo by itself, which has high costs of operations, will only develop in a booming economy," says Manda. "Customers would use express cargo only if the pricing is very competitive."
But even with his latest venture being grounded, nobody who knows the former army officer-turned-serial entrepreneur is willing to write him off, starting with his former franchisee.
"If he launches again with another plan, we would definitely think of realigning with him," says Shanmugam.
Also, Gopinath's first aviation company, helicopter charter venture Deccan Charters, is still afloat as is another entity that maintains aircraft for corporations.
Deccan Charters had tied up with Taj Air and BJETS in February 2011 to launch a joint venture, Power Fly, which utilises the combined fleet of the three for charter services as well as agreements for marketing, maintenance and operational support.
Taj Air confirms that the joint venture is still operational. And last year, Gopinath had told a financial daily that he planned to launch another low-cost carrier after his non-compete agreement with Vijay Mallya ends in January 2013, though the civil aviation ministry is reportedly not enthused by the proposal.
It would be worth waiting to see what rabbit the maverick entrepreneur pulls out of his hat next.
As Pai puts it, "The question is not whether he will launch an enterprise but whether the new enterprise will succeed. And that's something only Gopinath can answer."