Those who have worked with Kalanithi say his business sense is sharp. "When he was on the verge of closing the SpiceJet deal in 2010, I asked him why he was interested since the whole world had written off the aviation sector," recalls a relative, "and he replied that what is happening now is the worst, and from here on there will only be an upside. In exactly 12 months the industry bounced back."
Kingfisher folded up and fares improved, as a result. Airlines like SpiceJet gained significantly. Valuations improved. Now that foreign airlines have been allowed to acquire up to 49 per cent in Indian carriers, SpiceJet and Kalanithi stand to benefit immensely.
SpiceJet recently informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that some investors have indeed evinced interest in the company. There was a buzz that Qatar Airways could be the unnamed investor, till that airline said it was all speculation.