Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeSuccess StoriesV J KURIAN – The CIAL Saga



Nobody is born great. It is obviously through the course of life that one discovers his/her talents. Whether it is M S Dhoni or Barack Obama, everyone comes out of the mother’s womb as a piece of muscle weighing an average of two kilograms. Even the child gets its name after the birth. Likewise every brand or company makes its birth from the idea created. The efforts of Sachin Tendulkar, A P J Abdul Kalam, M S Dhoni or Barack Obama, made them popular and successful in life. The world famous brands like Apple, Facebook, and Google and so on became so popular because of the efforts made by the person behind those ideas. We all use many brands daily but nobody knows the struggle faced by those entrepreneurs to make their idea into a successful brand or a product. The one who has the greatest amount of hard work, dedication and skill, will be the one who become the most successful.

V J Kurian IAS, Managing Director of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) and Additional Chief Secretary of state, is a popular name among the Keralites for his vision, mission and hard work.  The Cochin International Airport, India’s first plane stationbuilt under the Public-Private Partnership model is the result of hard work and dedication given by Mr. Kurian. Born to Adv. Joseph Vattavayalil and Elizabeth at Pala Edamattom, Kurian is an IAS officer of the 1983 cadre. He started his official career as the Sub Collector of Muvattupuzha. He was appointed as the District collector of Alappuzha in 1990 and within few months he was appointed as the Collector of the Commercial Capital of Kerala “Ernakulam” where he gave birth to Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL).

The original airstrip in Cochin was built in the year 1936. Since independence, Indian Navy operated the Cochin Airport, though it permitted civilian aircraft to also use the facility. The Gulf boom in the 1980s called for a massive upgradation of the Naval Airport for the operation of bigger aircraft.  However, the National Airport Authority (NAA), the owner and operator of all Civil Airports in the Country expressed their inability to make further investments in an Airport owned by the Indian Navy. But the vision led Mr. Kurian to take over the mammoth project. He conceptualized the idea of developing the Airport with the joint financial participation of the Airport users mainly non –resident Indians, Airport service providers and the Government. This concept paved the way for the development of not only Cochin International Airport but many other Airports in India including Bangalore and Hyderabad in the Public – Private Partnership (PPP) model and later became a subject for case study at Harvard University, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Kozhikode.

On 25th May 1999, Sri. K R Narayanan, the then Honourable President of India, announced the historic opening of Cochin International Airport. It was a long cherished dream coming true for Mr. V J Kurian and his team. Cochin International Airport is not just an Airport; it is a symbol of hope in our state. It is a sign that things actually work if one puts his heart and soul into it. The firm determination and hard work led them to achieve their dream project. No doubts if you put 100% effort, within a short period of time you reach the point of success and bliss.

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