An Interview with Entrepreneur Azim Barodawala

Azim brings over a decade of Travel and Technology experience to Volantio, with a particular focus on airline strategy and travel distribution. Prior to Volantio, Azim served as Group Head of Strategy for the Jetstar Group based in Melbourne, Australia. Azim also spent over 3 years working for The Boston Consulting Group, with a particular focus on Travel and Transportation. Azim is a frequent speaker at major industry events and has been published in leading publications such as Airline Business. He received his BA from Duke University, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and his MBA from the Wharton School.

In the following interview, Azim talks about his firm Volantio, his entrepreneurial journey, struggles and the lessons learned along the journey.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.

When did you first discover your entrepreneurial spirit and How is your entrepreneurial career developing so far?

I discovered fairly early on that I loved the excitement of being able to build something with my own two hands. When the chance came along to get involved with Volantio, it was too good to pass up.

What has been the biggest success and biggest failure stories you went through?

The most significant success to date has been getting Volantio's Yana platform off the ground, and see the tremendous value that it drives to the industry. It is wonderful to see something that truly drives incremental profit for businesses while also benefitting customers - very rare!

The biggest failures that we went through were probably related to hiring and learning tough lessons about how to screen for the right individuals. There is a strong temptation to try and fill roles as "quickly as possible" but hiring the wrong folks is painful for everyone (both the company and the individual), and it can be very costly in the long run. This is definitely a lesson we learned the hard way!

Tell us something about Volantio.

We've grown from 3 individuals in 2015 to nearly 20 today! Moreover, we're fortunate to be backed by some of the leading airline corporate venture capital firms globally - including JetBlue Tech Ventures, IAG Ventures, and Qantas Ventures.

What are your growth plans for the near future?

We hope to continue scaling our team in the coming year, primarily in the United States.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

Getting the team right is the most critical thing that the CEO of a start-up can do. We have focused our time and effort on building an amazing team, but if I could do anything differently, it would have been to have sought out advice from experienced individuals earlier on regarding how to build high performing teams.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career? What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

I think the biggest hurdle is fear of failure. My advice to those who feel this way is that you will learn more from failure in an entrepreneurial endeavor than you would ever learn from a "safe" career and that those skills will then make you significantly more marketable in the future.

I have learned more in the last ~5 years than I have learned in my combined career to date. Being an entrepreneur teaches you everything you need to know about the business world, end to end. My advice - be brave, dive in, and enjoy the ride.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.