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Building India’s First Billion Dollar Tech Company: InMobi Co-Founder Amit Gupta (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Feb 10th 2014

InMobi is probably going to be the first billion dollar global technology company built out of India. Read their thrilling entrepreneurial journey.

Sramana: Amit, let’s go back to the very beginning of your personal story. Where are you from and what kind of circumstances were you raised in?

Amit Gupta: I was brought up in Kanpur which is a city in northern India. My family has been in business for many generations. I had the opportunity to step outside of the family business. That shaped my decisions for schooling as well as the companies that I could work in after my schooling was completed.

I was lucky enough to get admission into IIT Kanpur. I received a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. I never pursued a job in engineering but I do think some of the disciplined manner of thinking that I learned from those studies has helped me throughout life.

After college, I joined a software engineering company in Bangalore. There was a big IT boom in 2000, which was when I graduated and I wanted to be a part of that. I worked as a software engineer for a couple of years before I realized that while I appreciated software engineering, I did not really enjoy it. Around that time, I had the opportunity to work as a manager at Citifinancial India.

By that time, I realized that my career goal had shifted. I no longer wanted to be a software engineer. Instead, I wanted to help businesses implement business IT systems. About a year after I joined Citi, I had the opportunity to join a startup in Bangalore called Andale.

Sramana: What did Andale do?

Amit Gupta: Andale worked on auction management solutions. It had a SaaS platform for buyers and sellers on the eBay platform. In those days eBay was a really big deal. We had a hosted platform with about 50,000 paying customers. It was a fairly unique opportunity in India. I had the opportunity to learn the concept of a marketplace. I learned that it was possible to extract a thousand dollars from thousands of customers while hosting the software in the cloud. That whole experience was incredibly influential in shaping the way I think. I saw how things evolve at scale.

Sramana: What did you do after Andale?

Amit Gupta: I started a company in the business intelligence space. I ran that company for about a year. During this time, my co-founder at InMobi, Naveen Tewari, was working for a startup in the US. While I was running my new company Analyticsworks, I heard that Naveen was looking to come back to India. He started asking me about the startup scene in Bangalore and we started sharing some ideas.

Sramana: What year was this?

Amit Gupta: This was in 2006.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Building India's First Billion Dollar Tech Company: InMobi Co-Founder Amit Gupta
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