January 23, 2020
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Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Naukri.com

Quitting a corporate job, Bikhchandani started Info Edge and Indmark, ­working out of a servant’s ­quarter for which he paid his dad Rs 800.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Naukri.com
Photograph by Vishal Koul
Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Naukri.com
  • With a net worth of Rs 4,285 crore, he is one of India’s ­richest 100


Sanjeev Bikhchandani’s may be our classic modern fable—a norm-­defying childhood dream, a long and lone struggle, and then a leaping success. As a 12-year-old, when most boys dream of fighter jets or gladiatorial sport, Bikhchandani dreamt of ­becoming an ent­re­preneur. He navigated through the economics-plus-MBA route (his parents ­wanted him to become a doctor or engineer) and quit a well-paying corporate job while still in his 20s. Pursuing an independent business, he started Info Edge and ­Indmark, developing them while working out of a servant’s quarter, for which he paid his dad Rs 800. One did surveys and the other was a database of trademarks; both aggregated valuable information.

If Info Edge doesn’t ring a bell, think Naukri.com. India’s leading job portal was an idea that came to Bikhchandani during his days at HMM (now Glaxo­­SmithKline), where he saw his colleagues devour Business India’s jobs section. His idea was simple: tap the universal interest in the job market and cash in on the lack of organised listings. The time was momentous: the internet had just arrived in India. For a long time, Bikhchandani pumped money from other businesses into Naukri.com. He lived off his wife’s income and later took up jobs as a teacher and a journalist while still working on his own. He says he lost touch with many friends as he couldn’t afford the lavish bills and holidays they enjoyed.

In May-June 1999, Naukri.com received its first investment and soon became the first internet company to get listed on the Indian stock exchan­ges; one of the few that weathered the Y2K meltdown. Bikhchandani now also runs other popular websites, including Jeevansathi.com, 99acres.com, Brij.com, Allcheckdeals.com, Naukrigulf.com, Shiksha.com and Firstnaukri.com. As of January 2016, with a net worth of Rs 4,285 crore, he is one of India’s richest 100. Yes, he has re-established contact with his old friends.

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