Interview: JetSmarter founder Sergey Petrossov
JetSmarter, a mobile marketplace for private air transportation, aims at making private jet space a reality for all travelers. Using a smart phone application, it connects passengers and air carriers to chartered flights, with over 3,000 aircraft of all makes available for booking. With $20 million funding from the Saudi Royal Family, music and entertainment moguls including Jay-Z, and executives at companies such as Goldman Sachs and Twitter, the company can compete with airlines and really make all air travel private.
Today we have an exclusive opportunity to talk to the JetSmarter founder, successful and talented entrepreneur Sergey Petrossov.
What is your educational background? What were your first business projects?
I studied Finance at the University of Florida. I co-founded two IT projects prior to JetSmarter: an online chat system for website customer service, and a distance-learning platform for Russian speaking educational institutions. I also served as a board advisor to a private jet operator based in South Florida, who at the time had the world’s largest on-demand Gulfstream charter fleet.
Could you tell about JetSmarter and its services in more detail?
JetSmarter is the mobile marketplace that allows users to book private jets directly from their Smartphones. JetSmarter offers instant pricing and availability for private jets across the globe, allowing users to book a flight themselves without the hassle of dealing with a “middle man,” (which is often the case with other private jet booking systems). Currently, we offer our users three different services which are as follows:
- JetCharter: Whole aircraft charter where users customize their trip based on destination and aircraft. This feature is available worldwide in over 170 countries
- JetDeals: Exclusive, one-way flights on private jets offered free for members of the app; Members book seats in bundles of 2-5 free seats, and if they would like additional seats, they can pay a nominal fee per extra seats. These deals appear as much as 1 month notice, and in as little as 12 hours’ notice, depending on the type of flight, aircraft and route. **On any aircraft with 5 passengers or less the whole aircraft is free worldwide.
- JetShuttle: Shared private jet flights; users can search for and book an already scheduled fight or create their own JetShuttle. All JetShuttle flights are offered at discounted rates for non-members and free for members. Users can choose from:
- Scheduled JetShuttles: Single seats on already scheduled flights in select US markets, Europe and the Middle East.
- Create your own JetShuttle– This option allows members to book a flight by purchasing a few seats on a plane (rather than the entire aircraft). The remaining seats on the flight are released into the app, for other JetSmarter members to book for free.
«JetSmarter offers instant pricing and availability for private jets across the globe, allowing users to book a flight themselves without the hassle of dealing with a «middle man»»
Who are your clients? What countries does the service cover?
We have had members range from college students who use two credit cards to purchase a membership, to new entrepreneurs, to every-day families. Our demographic is very diverse, and continues to grow with diversity every day as we unveil new services and add more inventory. Our service is available in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, and is continuing to expand globally.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
I am particularly proud of our ability to secure the right supply of flights on the platform, which has helped JetSmarter deliver unmatched services to our users.
What has been your biggest setback?
As an entrepreneur, I don’t look at setbacks as a negative. I see them as difficulties that I have encountered, which has made my company stronger, and what it is today.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
If you push yourself to the limit, and work harder than everyone else, you will succeed. Never stop believing in yourself, and always know you can make it to the finish line.
«I don’t look at setbacks as a negative. I see them as difficulties that I have encountered, which has made my company stronger, and what it is today»
What advice would you give someone willing to start his/her own business?
Don’t wait, just do. Have faith in your outcome and don’t stop believing when things get hard.
What is the most enjoyable thing in your work?
Seeing a smile on the customers face from their satisfaction of the product you created. It’s what makes it all worth it.
Which business leaders you look up to? Who is your inspiration?
One person who inspires me is Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber.
«Never stop believing in yourself, and always know you can make it to the finish line»
How do you balance work and leisure?
Balancing work and leisure is something that I’m still working on figuring out. I think that as time goes on, I’ll figure out a system that works best for me.
Do you have any hobbies?
My kids and my family are my number one hobby and priority.
Do you travel a lot? What are your favorite cities/places and why?
Yes, I travel A LOT. My all-time favorite cities are New York, Singapore, London, and Dubai.
What are your favorite personal travel destinations?
I enjoy visiting the Caribbean islands.
«Have faith in your outcome and don’t stop believing when things get hard»
What would be the most exciting/luxurious holiday experience for you personally?
I would love to go to the Maldives, or some other private island resort with my family. Of course traveling there on a private jet would add to the excitement and luxury.
What is your favorite cuisine? What are some of the best restaurants you can recommend our readers?
Definitely Japanese. My favorite restaurant in the world is a fine dining Japanese restaurant, Waku Ghin in Singapore.
What are your plans for the future?
We plan to continue our global expansion, and we’re currently focusing on expanding in the countries where there is enough supply to satisfy demand, and are continuing to partner with carriers across the globe, to offer users more inventory daily.
«The most valuable things in life are family, faith, and giving back to those in need»
What is success, in your opinion?
Internal satisfaction, and knowing that you do what you love.
What are the most valuable things in life?
The most valuable things in life are family, faith, and giving back to those in need.
Thank you a lot for the great and inspiring interview! Our readers can find out more about JetSmarter services at: https://jetsmarter.com