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Born in India, 1977, near where Gandhi was born. Father worked for govt., had a driver, mid to upper class by Indian standards. Both parents intellectual, all offspring did well in school – too easy. At 16, enrolled in tech school concurrently and fell in love with computers – DOS – with Windows 3.1 as OS. Two weeks in to school, hacked into tutor’s account and unlocked all the games for the students which made me popular with the students and upset the turors – graduated with highest possible marks, and high school as well. Started teaching at tech school and worked on a project for the Indian government as the tech school was one of the contractors on the project.
Father had opportunity to take position in US, took it for kids. Challenge was no English, no cultural perspective. Made deal with Uncle who worked for Warner Lambert, who helped/hosted, with agreement to repay for support. The Uncle had invested in a Georgia hotel, was going bankrupt, and he was selected to repair it, clean, and save it. Lost contact with parents after arriving at motel – no ability to make long distance calls, and no transportation – in the middle of nowhere. One day escaped in a rusty old car, became homeless, lived in the car until found a broken down bug infested room to live in. worked at McDonalds. Worked odd jobs, saved money, learned English by reading newspapers and highlighting words he did not know. Saved $11K.
Went back to NJ, stayed with Uncle, shared small room with two loud little cousins. With savings, enrolled in computer education and compressed 4 year program to 1 year, with highest honors. Found job at s/w company in pharma, pure bliss. Knew no one, so learned computers. Vacations were spent buying books and studying programming languages to perfection. Switched to pharma industry to be incharge of a global project, used tuition program by employer for advanced degrees while travelling globally. Challenge was that college used outdated s/w compared to employer’s cutting edge s/w tools. Received advice to learn directly from s/w brands rather than institutions so he studied Oracle, etc. Instead of specializing in one area of IT, learned all areas of IT (programming, database administration, systems administration, server administration, networking, information security, datacenter management…etc)
He started experimenting with cellular text and MMS messages. He could see it would become very popular over time. By end of 2006, he had developed the tech to deliver text and MMS to cell phones in 140 countries. Incorporated and started a company that allowed people to upload content and deliver to cell phones around the world. Also developed iMobile Interactive in 2007. Started looking for a CEO to run his business to be able to focus on technology passion. In the pharma company where he worked, the department head was a logical partner – had telco relationships. Gave him 50% of the company – long story short – the partner was an alcoholic, had personal issues, anger and control problems, and embezzled funds from the company. Battle ensued, pushed him out by end of 2013. At this point, the landscape had changed and First to Market advantage had expired. Realized a new brand was required, thus Privi, as a very special offering for public figures. To launch, need investment funding, which was secured late 2014.