- 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.