After scripting one of the most remarkable turnaround stories of recent times, Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet may finally start taking a salary. Singh, who took charge of the Gurgaon-based budget carrier in January 2015, had promised not to take remuneration till the time the company turned profitable. Singh had reasons to believe that the turnaround would take time. SpiceJet was on the verge of shutting down operations in December 2014, cancelling large number of flights on a daily basis. It owed money to lenders, oil companies, employees, tax department, airports among others. The airline sprang a surprise by posting a `22.5 crore profit in the January-March 2015 quarter itself.
But Singh, changed his plans, he decided to wait for the full financial year results before taking a call on his remuneration. With the no-frills carrier posting the highest annual profit in its history for financial year 2015-16, Singh may finally start taking remuneration. “Initially, it was till SpiceJet turned profitable. Then I had thought that I will not take a salary till one full year of profitability. Now that has been achieved I will leave it to the board of SpiceJet to decide what has to be done,” Singh told HT. Singh has been doubling up as the CEO since he came back. “The situation was so bad that he had very little option but to get involved in the day-to-day management of this company,” said a senior SpiceJet official. “This is a turnaround which is pretty much without a parallel in the world. Name another airline that has done this. We have cleared all outstanding dues of banks, oil companies, income tax and cleared all TDS dues,” Singh said.