Ajay Singh is an Indian businessman, sports official, and bureaucrat. He is also a well-known investor in several Indian public and private companies. In 2005, he co-founded SpiceJet, a second-largest airline company in India. He left SpiceJet in 2010 and rejoined it in February 2015 as its chief shareholder, Chairman, and Managing Director. In July 2022, Ajay Singh hit the headlines in a fraud case in which a Delhi-based complainant mentioned that Ajay Singh cheated him on the pretext of allotting shares in SpiceJet.
Ajay Singh was born on Wednesday, 29 December 1965 (age 56 years; as of 2022) in Central Delhi. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. Ajay Singh completed his school education at St. Columba’s School, New Delhi. After completing his school studies, he pursued a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) degree from IIT Delhi. He then joined Cornell University in the US to pursue an MBA in Finance degree. Later, he earned a Law (LL.B.) degree from the University of Delhi. Ajay Singh was elected as the president of the university’s India Association when he was studying at Cornwell University in the United States.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Salt and Pepper
Parents & Siblings
According to some media sources, his father was born and brought up in Alwar, Rajasthan, and his maternal family belonged to Meerut, UP.
Wife & Children
Ajay Singh’s wife’s name is Shivani Singh. Shivani Singh was appointed as the woman director of SpiceJet in April 2015. The couple has a daughter named Avani Singh, who is a Stanford University alumnus. Avani Singh is associated with the airline field.
In 1996, the then transport minister of Delhi, Rajendra Gupta designated Ajay Singh as a board member of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Reportedly, under the leadership and administration of Ajay Singh, the fleet of 300 buses of DTC increased to 6000 buses in only two years. In 1998, he was designated as the officer on special duty (OSD) of Pramod Mahajan, the then Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister of India. Ajay Singh was given the authority to transform and redraft the workings and management of ‘Doordarshan.’ According to some media sources, two new channels – DD Sports and DD News were launched by Doordarshan under the guidance of Ajay Singh.
In 2005, Ajay Singh co-founded SpiceJet along with Bhupendra Kansagra by acquiring and renaming grounded ModiLuft Airlines to SpiceJet. It is said that on the first day of its operation, SpiceJet sold 38,000 tickets and had a load factor of over 90%. SpiceJet had over INR 800 crores of capital in 2010 when Ajay Singh exited it. SpiceJet was taken over by Kalanithi Maran, the Chairman and Managing Director of Sun Group. However; by 2015, SpiceJet suffered a huge loss due to mismanagement and uncontrolled expenses of the company. In the same year, Ajay Singh bought the major shares of SpiceJet and started working as its Chairman and Managing Director.
The World Economic Forum appointed him to chair the Aviation, Travel, and Tourism (ATT) Governor’s Meeting in January 2019, and this made him the first Indian to chair this meeting. During the same year, the International Air Transport Association appointed him to its Board of Governor’s panel. Thereafter, he was nominated as the Chairman of the CII National Committee on Civil Aviation and the Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council, India Initiative. Later, the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology of India appointed him as its advisor to assist the government in framing the National Telecom Policy and Information Technology Act. In January 2021, the Boxing Federation of India re-designated him as its President, and the Indian Olympic Association appointed him as its Associate Vice President.
Ajay Singh was the principal organiser of the publicity campaigns of the Bharatiya Janata Party during the 2004 and 2014 general election campaigns in India. He coined the slogan, “Abki Baar Modi Sarkaar” during the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. He was often referred to as Chhota Ambani or Chhota Adani of Narendra Modi by the opposition parties of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Several political advertisements of the Bharatiya Janata Party often feature Ajay Singh on their posters. He is regarded as the right hand of the BJP. Reportedly, his good stint in the airline industry and connections with the BJP helped him to grow his business to the heights of the sky.
SpiceJet and Bombardier
In 2017, Ajay Singh and the United States signed a deal in which SpiceJet placed an order for 205 Boeing aircraft, one of the largest companies in American history. This deal was fixed when Donald Trump was the President of the US, and Trump mentioned in one of his media conferences that this mega-deal with SpiceJet India would create thousands of jobs in the United States. Later, SpiceJet followed the Boeing order with 50 Bombardier Q400 planes, and in the history of Bombardier, this order was considered the single-biggest order of the aircraft.
On 11 July 2022, he attracted controversy when a complainant named Amit Arora lodged a complaint against him for cheating Amit Arora on the pretext of allotting shares of Spicejet. In the complaint, Amit Arora stated that Ajay Singh delivered him a fake depository instruction slip (DIS) of shares worth Rs 10 lakh in exchange for some services provided to Ajay Singh. Soon after the complaint was filed at Sushant Lok police station in New Delhi, the cases under sections 406, 409, 415, 417, 418, and 420 of the IPC were registered against Ajay Singh. On 12 July 2022, a legal notification was circulated by SpiceJet in the media stating that the complaint against Ajay Singh was completely fake, and the company would file a defamation complaint against Amit Arora. In a media conversation, an official of SpiceJet stated,
A frivolous, mischievous, and completely bogus complaint has been filed by a liquor dealer Amit Arora with the Gurugram police with an intention to hurt SpiceJet and Ajay Singh’s image.”
Awards, Honours, Achievements
In 2018, he was the recipient of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s Leadership Award. In the same year, he earned the CAPA Chairman’s Order of Merit for Excellence in Indian Aviation Award. In 2017, he was felicitated with the EY’s Indian Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Business Transformation category.
- Ajay Singh was a sports enthusiast during his school and college days. He was an active participant in the sports and cultural activities of his school and college. Reportedly, he represented his school’s Cricket, Football, and Hockey teams at various tournaments as a captain.
- According to some Media sources, Ajay Singh and Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan were schoolmates. Ajay Singh was Shah Rukh’s senior at St. Columba’s School. During their school days, when Ajay Singh was selected as the captain of their school’s cricket team, the authorities of the school chose Shah Rukh Khan as the wicket-keeper.
- Ajay Singh started working at his family’s business of real estate and fashion accessories soon after he returned to India after finishing his college studies at Cornell University.
- In 1998, the work performance of Ajay Singh in the Broadcasting Ministry impressed Pramod Mahajan so much that Mahajan delegated an important position to Ajay Singh when Mahajan shuffled the Telecom ministry.
- In 2010, Daewoo Motors India Ltd. was announced as a debt-ridden company after it suffered a huge loss of its capital in the Indian market. Ajay Singh purchased this company with the aim to revive it; however, it all was in vain.
- The Boxing Federation of India appointed Ajay Singh as its President on 25 September 2016.
- In 2017, it was floating in some media reports that Ajay Singh paid just two rupees to Maran to re-acquire SpiceJet from him. Reportedly, this was considered the lowest amount at which a listed company has ever been acquired in India.
- Ajay Singh and the government of Delhi are in a public-private partnership for operating low-floor buses.
- According to some media sources, Ajay Singh has a financial stake in several companies in India as an angel investor. He has partnerships with a nanotechnology company in Bangalore and an IT company in Mumbai. Apart from being the owner of an aviation company, he frequently invests in real estate companies in Delhi, which build luxury residential flats in central Delhi.