Asim Abdullah

Date:   Friday , November 21, 2008


Age 36
Place of Birth Karachi, Pakistan

Residence Saratoga, CA

Family Wife and two sons

Came to the U.S. 1981

Education - BSEE, BSCS, University of Michigan; M.S., Stanford

First job Rolm Systems.

Company started Veo Systesms, 1997

Year did an IPO 1999

Year became millionaire 1999

Favorite charity Edhi Foundation

Lifetime goals in the process of resetting

Net worth

Philosophy of life raise oneself to where you can write your own destiny (translated from a verse by Allama Iqbal)

Most inspired by My father-in-law, a complete person

Most excited by The prospect of seeing our children grow

Most expensive thing ever bought A cricket event during the Pakistan-Australia World Cup final in 1999

In 1981, teenager Asim Abdullah came to the US from his native Karachi. He enrolled at the University of Michigan to study electrical engineering, and ended up earning a bachelors degree in computer science as well.

After graduating, Abdullah went on to work for Rolm Systems and later for Taligent, a joint venture company started by Apple, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. In 1996, Abdullah quit just months before the alliance was abandoned, and joined CommerceNet, an organization funded by the US governmentís Department of Commerce to help the country transition to e-commerce. Since then, he hasnít looked back ó except with success and satisfaction, that is.

As executive director of CommerceNet, Abdullah established global alliances and, even more importantly, established a rapport with Jay Tenenbaum, a technological visionary whose company was the first to conduct an electronic transaction and auction over the Web. In 1997, he and Tenenbaum took technology developed at CommerceNet and started Veo Systems, with the objective of developing technology to facilitate the even more lucrative B2B, or business-to-business, e-commerce. They also secured funding from the National Institute of Science and Technology, a Department of Commerce organization.

According to Abdullah, the biggest challenge for Veo was in crafting XML, a programming language that emerged from the publishing business into a useful tool for software engineering. With that vision in mind, Veo made some smart market moves and assembled a 35-person team, hiring proficient XML programmers from faraway lands including Russia. He also hired two other sets of programming talent: those experienced in distributed objects from, notably, Sun Microsystems, and those that were already crafting e-commerce software.

Veo established a lead over most other companies while Abdullah, its CEO, led the company to crucial initiatives.

Late last year, Veo merged with Commerce One, another hot B2B company poised for an initial public offering. When, a few months later, Commerce One went public, Abdullah was sitting on a pile of wealth. He holds 1.8 million shares of Commerce One that are valued currently at over $300 million.

Abdullah is clearly enjoying the fruits of being an early mover.