Telangana NRI runs a flight for stranded Indians in US
Ravi Puli had to wade through a thicket of aviation regulatory regimes in multiple countries to get the green signal for the plane to fly to Hyderabad
Covid-19 has completely upended the rules of the game. Ravi Puli, who is a US-based entrepreneur from Telangana, is a novice as far as aviation is concerned. But he found himself in a situation where he had to organise a flight to ship over 250 stranded Indians in US to their native place, Hyderabad.
It was a task that he took upon himself after he received several calls from known and unknown people to arrange seats on Vande Bharat Mission planes because of his contacts in the embassy. But he soon realised it was near impossible to fix seats for everybody.
"That is when I thought of arranging a private flight to transport some people who were badly in need of travelling to India for a variety of reasons including visa issues," Puli, a Virginia-based businessman, told Khaleej Times.
Puli, who is no stranger to negotiating through bureaucratic landmines, had to wade through a thicket of aviation regulatory regimes in multiple countries to get the green signal for the plane to fly.
"Me and my team of 20 people under the banner of US India Solidarity Mission worked tirelessly for three weeks to get the necessary clearances from multiple agencies in three countries," said Puli, who is planning another mission if regular flights do not resume soon.
Puli, a tech entrepreneur hailing from a remote village in Telangana, has been a face of US Telugu community for over two decades. Whenever there is a problem in the community, he rises to the occasion with a solution.
The plane, which picked up passengers from New York, Dallas and Chicago, travelled via Doha, Qatar, to reach Hyderabad on June 26. It was an herculean effort, not easy for a person and a team not familiar with aviation business. Puli and his team of aides pulled it through with sheer determination and never give up attitude.
The stranded travellers are mostly people with visa issues, students whose studies were on hold due to the coronavirus lockdown and parents who came to see their children.
Puli never loses an opportunity to be in the thick of action. He is always on the lookout for new avenues for himself and for his fellow cohort of new Indian-origin entrepreneurs in the US. He was part of a US delegation that accompanied US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump when she visited Hyderabad to participate in Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad 2017.
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