Go First Airlines: Part of India’s Oldest Business House

Wadia Group: India’s oldest conglomerate

Go First Airline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wadia group. Wadia Group is India’s oldest conglomerate and has a rich history dating back to the 1700s. It was founded by Lovji NusserwanjeeWadia in 1736. He was a Parsi from Surat.

Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia secured rights from the British East India Company to build Ships and Docks in Bombay in 1736. The Bombay dry dock which was the first dry dock in Asia was built by the Wadias in 1750. Lovji Wadia is also considered to be the founder of the shipping industry in Bombay.

Wadia group went on to establish the Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Company in 1879, which became one of India’s largest textile companies. Wadia group also owns India’s oldest public Trading Company i.e. Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation. Wadias’s also acquired India’s oldest existing biscuit company Britannia Industries. In the 1990s, the group diversified into real estate and acquired a stake in Bombay Realty. Wadia Group also owns a stake in the IPL team Punjab Kings.

“Go First Airlines: Journey, Challenges, and the Diversification of Wadia Group”

GoFirst Airlines, founded by Jeh Wadia in 2005, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wadia Group, one of India’s prominent business conglomerates. Despite its initial success and rise to become the 5th largest airline in India in 2012, GoFirst Airlines faced significant challenges that led to its filing for bankruptcy in May 2023. However, it is important to explore not only the airline’s struggles but also the wider context of the Wadia Group’s diverse portfolio, including companies like Bombay Dyeing, Britannia Industries, and its ongoing efforts in real estate, hospitality, and renewable energy sectors.

GoFirst Airlines: Challenges and Bankruptcy

GoFirst Airlines enjoyed a successful journey after its establishment, gaining a considerable passenger market share and reaching the status of the 5th largest airline in India. However, the company encountered difficulties that ultimately led to its bankruptcy filing. One of the main factors behind this decision was the alleged losses incurred due to faulty engines, which impacted the airline’s operations and financial stability.

The Wadia Group: Leadership and Diverse Portfolio

Under the leadership of Nusli Wadia, Chairman of the Wadia Group, the conglomerate has evolved into a diverse business entity. Besides GoFirst Airlines, the group owns notable companies such as Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Company Limited, Gladrags (a fashion magazine), Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited, National Peroxide Limited, and Britannia Industries Limited. Each of these companies plays a crucial role in the group’s overall growth and financial performance.

Challenges and Legal Battles

The Wadia Group, despite its success, has faced challenges and legal battles over the years. Britannia Industries, a key player within the group, encountered a controversy related to the use of a cartoon character on its packaging, resulting in a legal dispute with Parle Products. Additionally, GoFirst Airlines’ bankruptcy filing further added to the challenges faced by the Wadia Group.

Diversification Efforts and Future Prospects

In the face of adversity, the Wadia Group has exhibited resilience by diversifying its business interests. With a focus on expanding into the real estate and hospitality sectors, the group has made significant strides to ensure its sustained growth and profitability. Moreover, the group has announced plans to enter the renewable energy sector through a joint venture with a US-based company, showcasing its commitment to embracing emerging trends and contributing to sustainable development.


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