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Sabeer Bhatia – An Inspirational Career Story

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Introduction :

Sabeer HoTMaiL Bhatia is perhaps the biggest icon for every techno-entrepreneur out there. He brought the world’s attention to the technopreneurial brilliance of Indian Engineers .Sabeer Bhatia is one of the poster boys of Indian success story at Silicon Valley. He is better known as the man who co-founded Hotmail. While many can only dream of making the deal of the century, Sabeer Bhatia with his cool demure and shrewd thought process did the unthinkable and made a deal with the greatest dealmaker of all time Bill Gates.



  • 1986, undergraduate education at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani 1988, transferred to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 1989, M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University .




  • 1998,”Entrepreneur of the Year,” Awarded by the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  • 1998,Named to the “Elite 100,” Upside magazine’s list of top trendsetters in the New Economy
  • 1998,Recipient of the TR100 award, presented by MIT to 100 young innovators who are expected to have the greatest impact on technology in the next few years
  • 1998,Selected by the San Jose Mercury News and POV magazine as one of the ten most successful entrepreneurs of year
  • 2002,Named by TIME as one of the “People to Watch” in International Business
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Career :

  • Sabeer Bhatia joined Apple instead of pursuing his PhD
  • Sabeer joined a start-up company called Firepower Systems Inc, where he spent two years
  • In 1994, Sabeer started working on new ideas for the Internet and he teamed up with Jack Smith, a colleague from Apple Computer, Inc. The two came up with the concept of a web-based database entitled Java soft. While pursuing this idea, they subsequently realized the potential of a web-based e-mail system and thus decided to create one called HoTMaiL (the uppercase letters spelling out HTML—the language used to write the base of a webpage). In order to attract attention, the e-mail service was provided for free and revenue was obtained through the advertising on the website. Draper Fisher Ventures invested $300,000 on the project and the service was launched on July 4, 1996.

Career as an Entrepreneur

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  • In less than six months, the website attracted over 1 million subscribers. As the interest in the web-based email provider increased, Microsoft eventually took notice and on December 30, 1997 (Bhatia’s 29th birthday), Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for a reported sum of $400 million.
  • Bhatia worked at Microsoft for about a year and in April 1999, he left the company to start another website, Arzoo Inc.
  • He started (alongside co-founders Shiraz Kanga and Viraf Zack) BlogEverywhere, a website attempting to capitalise In November 2007, he released an online office alternative to Microsoft Office, called Live Documents.
  • This application allows users to use their documents both offline and online, edit, collaborate and share documents in real-time with others, and sync documents between various computers and users. Users can also download their Microsoft Office plug-in, which allows them to get the best of offline and online offices suites, along with full compatibility for all office document formats.
  • In January, 2008, Sabeer announced the launch of his latest venture, a free web-based teleconferencing system (“Sab Se Bolo” means “(Let’s) Talk To Everyone” in Hindi). On 14 June 2009, Sabeer Bhatia’s SabseBolo acquired Jaxtr, the internet telephone service start-up for an undisclosed amount. Jaxtr will function with the same brand name and help SabseBolo with its large user base.


Career in Management & Marketing

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Never Settle:

The adage Rolling stone gathers no moss seems to be the Mantra for Sabeer Bhatia as he has always moved from venture to venture making most of them into success stories from his earliest days with Apple to the transition from Entrepreneur to Venture Capitalist and Angel Investor, Sabeer Bhatia has always been an eager and enthusiastic professional in the field of Computer Science. Making stride after stride and trying out varying career options.

Gut Instincts are Seldom Wrong:

On being asked about his historic deal with Microsoft, Sabeer Bhatia was quoted saying, “I think you have some gut instincts and you have to go on those,” says Bhatia. “And you have to give it a shot … to an entrepreneur it’s like a gamble, but you’ve got to take that chance.” Bhatia crafted the strategy of pitching a decoy idea to venture capitalists in order to see which ones he could trust his true idea with. His real idea turned out to be Hotmail, which offered free e-mail accounts that could be accessed over the Web.

Advice to Entrepreneurs:

“If you have a unique enough idea and you have been really careful about identifying a market need, this is actually a great time to start companies — but you have got to be very careful, in that you really hit a true market need. There are at least in three ways you can innovate in Silicon Valley. You can make something substantially cheaper at the same price, or you can make something substantially better at the same price or, with this new mantra of clean technology, you can make something substantially cleaner at the same or a reduced price. Advice I would give to entrepreneurs: Look to doing something which people are already familiar with, which people have already purchased in the past, but try to see if you can shave the cost and provide the same value at a lot cheaper price.”



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