At 29 years old, Sergey Petrossov, CEO of JetSmarter, has changed a long staid industry and has the backing of the music industry’s icon, Jay-Z. But it was an incidental moment that brought his company into reality. When a friend asks him along on a trip that included a private chartered plane, he was taken aback by the whole experience. Yes, it was luxurious but the process to book the flight seemed so archaic. Booking included making phone calls and sending faxes. Sergey Petrossov thought to himself ‘faxes, really?’ and wondered why there wasn’t an app that could be used to book the flights. Then checking into the industry, he realized that there were more planes spending time on the ground than there were in the air. That’s when he realized that this was an opportunity to recreate the private charter flight industry.
Working as a third-party company and with the backing of many well-known individuals, including Saudi family members, Sergey Petrossov has disrupted an otherwise staid industry. His company is now sometimes called the ‘Uber’ of the skies for their one feature. People can book flights anywhere in the world using the app, but they can also share rides with other fliers who have already booked. This ridesharing feature gets planes, who would have just spent time in the hanger, into the skies making money for their owners. What started as a simple question has become a $1.5 billion company. It has also made private charter flights more affordable for more people thus broadening the customer base for the industry. For Sergey Petrossov, that’s a win for everyone.
When asked about his career, he modestly replied, “I don’t know. I think some people just have drive and passion for what they’re doing. That’s the most important thing for entrepreneurs. If you have a real, deep drive, no matter how much you’re knocked down, you can always get your head up.”