An Indian Air Force hero: my uncle's valor and values

This is the story of two pilots: a man who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the Indian Air Force, and a nephew who carries on his legacy. Thirty-five years after Flight Lieutenant V. Ganeshan made the instinctive, heroic decision to crash land his plane to spare innocent villagers in Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, Balan Ayyar roared through the same skies as the first US Air Force pilot to fly with his Indian counterparts. In this moving talk, Balan ponders the values that underpinned his uncle’s character—and he challenges us to anchor our everyday lives with virtues such as integrity, courage and compassion.

Recorded at INK2015, Mumbai


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About the Speaker


Balan Ayyar

Chief Operating Officer, Sevatec

Balan Ayyar is the chief operating officer of Sevatec, Virginia-based technology contractor. Prior to joining Seratec, Balam has served in the US Air Forces. A retired brigadier general, Balan has more than two-decade veteran in the areas of nuclear weapons, intelligence, national security and supply chain management.  He has led the Air Force’s sales, advertising and marketing arm and oversaw a multi-service interagency effort aimed at establishing rule of law as well as protecting U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

The Air Force Academy graduate also serves as a White House Fellow and on the Council on Foreign Relations. He finished the senior fellow program at Harvard University and earned a master’s degrees from Auburn University and the National Defense University. 

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