From Bootstrapping To $300M In Value: Meet The Founder Of Directi (TCTV)
When the press gathered to
shoot pictures and videos of the likes of Jack Dorsey
(Twitter), Niklas Zennstrom (Skype), Chad Hurley (YouTube) and
Michael Birch (Bebo) last Thursday when I arrived at my hotel in
Dublin, where the F.ounders
event was being held, I was surprised to see a fifth man get
prompted to be included by the event organizers. Particularly
because I didn’t recognize who this guy was, and not even his
name rang a bell.
Over the course of the next few days, I’ve gotten to know
him, and he has a fantastically inspiring story to tell alright:
Turakhia, one of India’s youngest and most successful
– sorry, technology entrepreneurs.
Turakhia started his first business when he was 14 years old,
and cofounded what its now the Directi Group when he was 18. He
famously made his first
million when he was 18, and now ten years later it sounds like
things are just getting started for him.
Directi is now a holding company with a current market value of
over $300 million (not bad for a venture that was bootstrapped on a
$600 budget – loaned by Divyank and his brother from their
parents – back in 1998). Its portfolio of products and business are
all over the place, ranging from collaboration, social networking,
instant messaging and content publishing software offerings to
major domain parking company Skenzo.
As for Divyank Turakhia, he’s set a large chunk of
resources aside for his next bet: Media.net, which will formally make its
debut at ad:tech New York later this week. It’s a contextual
advertising play, and Turakhia aims for it to rival none other than
After what I’ve learned about him the past few days, I
wouldn’t bet against him at the very least taking a really
good shot at it.
On a sidenote: he knows how to rival Lady Gaga, for one. From
“Turakhia arrived in Dublin with an improbably young
wannabe actress/singer/model girlfriend he met at Disneyland in
tow, having â€“ so the rumour goes
â€“ booked out the Presidential Suite of the
Westbury Hotel to upstage Lady Gaga, who is in Dublin this weekend.
That story, whispered, variously, through snarls of envy and smirks
of delight, speaks volumes about this controlled explosion of
Here’s my (admittedly far too brief) interview with
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