Cancer survivor beat all odds, rises to new heights

While dealing with cancer would be traumatic for anyone of us, Kanika Tekriwal dealt with this hard phase in her life, by focusing on creating her own business. This is a cancer survivor who never lost her drive in life. And made use of the most traumatic time in her life to write her own success story

Cancer in today’s time is one of the most heard of diseases. But to be on the table with your doctor, sitting on the other end, breaking the news wouldn’t be a very pleasing thing for anybody.

Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and Cofounder of JetSetGo, an aviation company, made sure that she was going to take things in her own way, even when it wasn’t easy.

When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, she was just 22. And in the time after she was diagnosed with cancer, she started working towards forming her own company.

Cancer made me a strong person who is ready to face any challenge; and most importantly, to never give in. So when we began work on JetSetGo and things didn’t go my way – I didn’t get upset, but just focused on what we could do next.”

The idea for JetSetGo came up because of the need for an aggregator in the private jet space, she explains. “I would meet a number of people using private jets who complained that booking one in India was a very shoddy experience. At the same time, private jet owners were selling planes due to the escalating costs, regular maintenance, and other hindrances as well as not getting the real pleasure of actually owning an aircraft.”

Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and Cofounder of JetSetGo

‘JetSetGo’ is a digital venture that enables customers to reserve their own private jets and planes that currently cover at least 250 domestic and international airports and an annual turnover of Rs 60 crores.

Ask her how she came up with this idea, as she was diagnosed with the heart-breaking illness. She quips, “Right before my cancer diagnosis was announced to me, my parents were all set to pack me off into a ‘nice Marwari family,’ which would have put my chances of doing business near to zero. But I used my diagnosis as a way to turn my life around and set-up the business I always wanted to. During those nine months of treatment, I explored my ideas and really delved deep into each and every detail.”

She further added, “Entrepreneurship was always on my radar and cancer helped me fast-track my way into it; it is both incredible and funny how your personal life always weaves into your professional experiences, opening pathways that you would have not found otherwise.”

Kanika has been named among the under 30 category of Forbes’ list and that is no joke when you are just 28-years-old. “It was an honour to be a part of this coveted list. It’s a good feeling when you wake up in the morning and are told you are on the 30 under 30 list, I’m not motivated by the money. I feel like I’m rewarded and acknowledged for my efforts. I’m still trying to get a hang of it.”

When asked what is the medical improvements she aims for, she replies, “At the moment there only a handful of aircrafts that are being used for medical travel, we look forward to adding more aircrafts and being able to serve more patients across the country in the coming year.”

‘Tears, blood, and sweat are all part of the game; no one said it was going to be easy, no matter how much you believe in your mission. Stay curious. Keep learning. Don’t lose your drive,’ is Kanika’s only mantra.