|Born||1956/1957 (age 59â€“60)
|Residence||Menlo Park, California, US|
|Education||University of Madras|
|Net worth||$1.89 billion (September 2015)|
|Spouse(s)||Married, 2 children|
I think, ultimately, open always wins out. It wins out because you cannot lock data in; you can't lock people in. They will find a way out.
I ended up working in Michigan for a young company called Sycor out of Michigan, worked there, and that company got bought by Northern Telecom. We became the Bell Northern Research Labs of Northern Telecom.
I guess the most seminal moment going early way back was my father died when I was 3 years old. I was raised by my grandparents, and my mother went back and got a degree.
There are times I think it might be nice to have deep-pocketed limited partners to provide me with some cushion. But I enjoy having no responsibilities except to myself, financially.
I remember when AOL was small and they were growing like mad. Consumers were coming on in droves because they made it easy to connect to the Internet. That was the single biggest innovation of AOL; when grandmas were signing up, AOL had arrived.
If America wants to lead the world, it needs to make sure new ideas can get to market. More opportunity will birth more companies that create more jobs.
I've been fortunate to work with some really smart people. Larry Page is an extremely smart guy, most probably one of the smartest people I've worked with.
I have lived the life of the entrepreneur, and so I know the pain they are feeling. I know the daily ups and downs they go through. You know, they have their highs and lows sometimes within a matter of hours in a day.
My focus is mainly on education. I believe education made all the difference for me, and it is certainly going to make all the difference for other children, too.
Young Indians are energetic and ambitious, have lots of ideas. They work around the difficult situation they face here. But the big challenge is to market products and services to the West, because costs there aren't coming down.
I had an ethnic preference, if you will, for the warm weather, coming from Chennai. So I finally said, 'Look, can I move to California?' because every time I come here, it would be in the 70s or 80s, and there would be beautiful blue sky and warm.
There's almost too much venture capital in India – there are issues with seed capital, but for venture capital, there's a lot money chasing deals here.
When you've dealt with real-life issues, dealing with business issues is not that hard.
My mother has been my mentor in my life. The number one attribute was discipline. To be on time to school, never miss a day at school, and then checking out homework and making sure I was doing it correctly and signing me up for lots of activities, extra tests and classes.
In the U.S.A., technical innovations come out of universities and the research produced by Ph.D. students. We don't have that happening in India.
No country should waste wireless spectrum. Especially not India, where the cellphone has become the personal computer.
There are still some pieces that aren't being used, like the white-space bands between TV channels. With digital broadcasting, those buffers aren't needed anymore. The wireless telcos want to lease them, while the TV industry wants to maintain the status quo. Either decision would be a mistake.
All the social things the consumer has gotten used to are being applied to business.
You learn that different people are made differently, and they have different ways to reach to their goals. Some people reach their limits of what they can produce and create, and that doesn't necessarily make them bad. It is just that they may not be right for that role in that instance.
Stay externally focused – on your customers – and focus internally when you have to hire.
Life is fleeting, and permanence in this world is something we all strive for. The best way to achieve permanence is through philanthropy.
Zoomin is a hybrid model. The management and founding team is the one with half.com.
I've trained my people in mentoring entrepreneurs and made myself obsolete.
You can't just tell your team, 'Think long term.' It doesn't work that way. When you are starting out, you have to always think about trying to build something of value for the customer: something they can use all the time, something of use.
You want to do a few things really well because you want to come out with a product that is fully baked, even though it may be lacking in a few features or whatever, rather than the one that's all-achieving but not doing anything too well.
Basically, I left Northern Telecom after 7.5 years of being in one company after school. And then, I ended up in a series of start-ups. The first of those was a company called Sitech, and they were in local area networks.
I've got to let the people who are in the business run the business. I can help them think through their decisions about products, about partners, about hiring. But in the end, the decisions are theirs, and so is the responsibility.
My only loyalty is to what's best for business, not to any set of constituents.