Ali Baghchehsara, a sports pilot, and professional skier & CEO of an IT infrastructure start-up GigaHub

Print page

Ali has been working in Aerospace for 9 years, he started working as an Aerospace Engineer within the Airbus design department. He was then later promoted to become a senior director. Ali also has his PhD looking at the cross section between predictive aircraft maintenance and cyber-security. Since moving on from Airbus, he successfully began his own start up called GigaHub a spin-off from LISA Group which is a government contractor building IT infrastructure and custom bult data platforms. For the past 2-3 years Ali and his team have been focussing on aerospace and defence.

What a typical day looks like

There is no routine, every day is different working for your own start-up. It can often be challenging, especially when deadlines become closer for our customer deliveries. Some of our competitors are much larger and we must work even harder to compete. As a CEO there is a lot of decision making and you must be able to lead and manage your team in an effective but caring manor. As a leader, it can be easy to forget to care for others around you. Leadership is not just about delegating tasks, it is about working collaboratively with your team, listening to opinions, ideas, but also judging your team’s emotions. Caring for those who are working with you, your customers and key stakeholders will continue to drive your business to success. This is what makes a typical day at GigaHub.

Top tips to succeed

  • For Ali the most important thing is that you must aim for something that you love doing. The sector is very prestigious and exciting, he encourages everyone to go after what they really love, this is the first stage. Whether you are interested in AI, flying, becoming an astronaut, identifying that you have passion for but, also being able to find the balance between your own talent and what you love.
  • Do not follow the crowd as well, just because the pay might be higher, or it looks cooler if you aren’t interested don’t pursue it for the sake of it.
  • For Ali, being a young entrepreneur, you need to spend a lot of time thinking about what you are going to do. This can become frustrating when you do not love what you do.

What is the most exciting/challenging part of the role?

Ali & the team are trying to think outside the box when it comes to AI and predictive maintenance for aerospace. We are trying to make an impact, and this is a very exciting part of our business. But this can also become a challenge! It takes a lot of work and time to keep the level motivation across the team. You often hear the word ‘no’ many times and you must build up the resilience to accept that and work out a solution for our customers. It also comes down to effective communication between your team and your customers/key stakeholders. Ali skis’ as a hobby and if you do not practice and persevere when something goes wrong, this will become an even bigger challenge. So, his advice would be to continue to persevere to make your impact a reality.

Ali is an Entrepreneur – you can become one too!

One thing Ali recommends to the younger generations if you want to start your own business is to never stop learning and asking for help. It can be very useful to co-find a business with someone else who has more experience. It can really help if you come across any problems and you can fall back on advice from an expert as you grow and learn. Before becoming a CEO, Ali made sure he asked other CEOs and learnt from them. A lot of first time CEOs make mistakes and can cost the business, so having the support from other experts in your sector us vital. Part of being an entrepreneur is solving the everyday problems that you are going to face, whilst still not forgetting about the bottom line i.e., your business revenue, how you make money, your products and market.

Advice to give new entrants into the sector

Ali’s advice would be to be open minded; we often find it difficult to find people with a deep understanding of predictive maintenance, but at the same time its tricky to find someone with an understanding of AI.  Ali was lucky that he already understood the aerospace industry. To identify the missing links of knowledge you must be open minded and review your talent, knowledge and skills from previous roles and sectors. Ali would recommend you be curious about AI, as it can add extreme value and into the future it is going to bring more integrity into our sectors.

Something else that Ali would advise, is not to be shy, make sure you speak up and show your motivation for the sector. If you are interested in working in this sector, then you should pursue that and talk to as many people as possible through networking.

CNBC interview with Ali Baghchehsara on Single Pilot Operations

Aerostories #Pilots #Engineering #Operations

My life. My potential #INWED21 The 23rd of June 2021 is International Women in Engineering Day, which aims to celebrate and raise...

The Aviatrix Project was set up in 2015 to encourage young people from a range of backgrounds to consider careers in aviation....

Background Since I was very young, I knew I  wanted to be to become a Pilot, growing up in Eritrea  and  my house wasn’t  far...

Background My Aerospace interest started at 14, when my father started flying lessons at our local flying club, Welshpool, I used...

View all stories