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Jonathan Ayache is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of LIFT, South Africa’s newest and most innovative airline, operated by Global Aviation Operations (Pty), which launched on December 10, 2020. Together with co-founder Gidon Novick, Jonathan has shown dedication to creating an airline that is customer-obsessed; one that’s super-efficient, leverages off record low input costs and is both agile and flexible.
In the latest Business Unusual podcast, Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media, engages in conversation with Jonathan Ayache to chat about how to handle hyper-growth and ‘the unexpected’. Jonathan provides amazing insight on taking risky leaps in your career, fostering an ‘Ownership Mindset’ in your team members, and understanding your customers’ unique pain points.
Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:
- We are living in chaotic, unpredictable times. Sometimes that which seems ‘insane’ will open up doors to the most amazing business opportunities. This is exactly what occurred with LIFT.
- As an entrepreneur and business owner, you need to be open to exploring things and discovering the journey along the way, even though you may not be able to see the final destination.
- Despite what people may think, disruption and failure can be a launching pad for building confidence. The nervousness around starting a business may always be there, and things may be quite daunting, but you cannot be fearful of failure.
- In terms of handling hyper-growth and the unexpected in business, you need to be agile and ready to adapt. Do not tie yourself down to a single outcome. Focus on the ‘how’ – How will you achieve your goals?
- It is important to find a career that energises you and is a space for continuous learning, despite all the challenges that come with it.
- There are only so many hours in one day! Look at what you can achieve TODAY in order to get one step closer to achieving your end goal.
- It is imperative that you find the right people to go on the journey with you. It is a tough road ahead. So it is important to really get a great mix of people and skills together. This is your toolkit.
- Instil an Ownership Mindset in all team members. This lets them know that they each own a piece of the business, and that everyone is important and has a significant impact on the success of the business.
- Having a customer-obsessed approach: This means learning about and understanding the pain points your customers are experiencing. Learn about the problem by experiencing it for yourself and then trying to solve it.
- The Innovator’s Dilemma = Being willing to take risks. It is about strategy and execution. Try to quantify the risk of a decision, then use this to decide where to invest your energy. Focus on what is important!
Jonathan Ayache is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of LIFT, South Africa’s newest and most innovative airline, operated by Global Aviation Operations (Pty), which launched on December 10, 2020. Prior to LIFT, Jonathan was the Head of Operations for Uber Sub Saharan Africa. Jonathan joined Uber in October 2013 as one of the first Uber employees in Africa. During his time at Uber he helped scale the business on the African continent taking it from hundreds of trips in two cities to millions of trips launching in 15 cities across 7 countries.
Before joining Uber, Jonathan worked at Eighty20, a management consultancy specialising in data-driven research and analysis. The role involved financial and statistical modelling on projects in the hospitality, financial services, housing, insurance, banking and retailing sectors. He holds a Business Science degree with Honours in Finance from the University of Cape Town.