The Interviewees

The novel coronavirus might have brought the whole world to a halt earlier this year, but Ivars Beitans and Simon Ward just kept on going. They spent their lockdowns looking at ways to improve aspects of operations at their facilities,thinking about restructuring their businesses to optimize efficiency at all levels, etc. ... The day the restrictions were lifted, they were both ready with their companies: Aerodium and iFLY.


Aerodium's Ivars Beitans and iFLY's Simon Ward at ISGS 2020

One company, iFLY, even ended up under new ownership. Negotiating from the United Kingdom, where he spent the lockdown, Simon Ward and his sales team convinced the new proprietors of the merits of becoming world leaders in indoor skydiving.


At the same time, Simon reorganized the company and changed his own role from chief executive officer (at the Austin, TX, headquarters) to director of the iFLY International Division (working from his UK office). Read more about it at New Company


Simon and iFLY also launched a new product line this summer. iFLY Tunnel Systems, formerly known as SkyVentures, rolled out two models that distinguish themselves through their modularity as well as fast build and low cost.



Ivars Beitans, the chairman of Aerodium, derived maximum benefit from a privileged location. First, Latvia had a relatively low COVID-19 incidence and one of the more lenient lockdowns. Second, with Latvians unable to travel abroad for their vacations, they left the capital Riga to spend time in the countryside. In towns like Sigulda, only 50 km away, where Ivars had set up one of his outdoor tunnels.


Ivars recorded the best business ever for the months July and August. He speaks about it in Boom Economy.


As customers were running in the Aerodium doors throughout the summer in Sigulda, Ivars kept looking at ways of stirring up more business and making operations at the tunnel more efficient. Ivars singled out four areas where he applied subtle changes that made the operation of his outdoor tunnel the most profitable ever.



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