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Gunjan Sinha
Friday, November 21, 2008

Gunjan Sinha
Age 33

Place of Birth Ranchi, Bihar

Residence Mountain View, CA

Family in India

Came to the U.S. 1989

Education B. Tech (CS, IIT-D; M.S. (CS), UC Santa Cruz; M.S. (Engineering Management), Stanford

First job Olivetti Advanced Technology Center

Company started 1993

Year did an IPO 1999

Year became millionaire Always felt rich!

Favorite charity Private

Lifetime goals Net, Set, Go!.

Net worth

Philosophy of life Have fun today..

Most inspired by Marathon runners, not sprinters

Most excited by Technology, of course

Most expensive thing ever bought I hate expensive stuff!!

Ashutosh Roy and Gunjan Sinha were both students at Stanford when Jerry Yang and David Filo build the now legendary Yahoo from scratch. The duo was doubtless inspired. They already had ambitious plans, including one to build telecom networks in rural India. They later chose not to pursue that after Sam Pitroda told them, “First earn some money, then do social service.”

Since that day in 1993, the two have started three companies, two in the US and one in India. But, despite Pitroda’s advice, they still began with social service, building Web pages for the Palo Alto chapter of the American Red Cross for free. For their good work, they received a $30,000 grant to build home pages for all chapters in the US. As they finished the work, an idea took shape in their minds: building Internet communities. The result: WhoWhere?, their first US venture. Prior to that, the two had joined two others in starting Parsec Communications, a call center company in India.

WhoWhere? emerged as a company that provided free email, free Web pages and offered search functions. In 1998, they sold the company to Internet search engine, Lycos, for $133 million and moved right into their next venture: Egain Communications. The two got the idea for Egain from two simple observations: email was growing exponentially, and businesses were unable to cope with such volumes of mail.

In deciding to develop an automated email management system, Roy and Sinha also broadened the scope of Egain by addressing a number of other customer support issues that are quite critical to the success of companies. Egain has proved to be a bigger success for the duo, primarily because they also took it public late last year. Today Egain is valued at almost $2 billion, passing along handy gains for its two founders. Each owns 4.5 million shares, currently worth about $300 million.

Roy, Egain’s CEO, has worked at Digital Equipment Corp. and Microsoft, where he was project manager for the Interactive TV group. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and Johns Hopkins University, respectively. He also earned an MBA from Stanford University.

Sinha, Egain’s president, has worked at Olivetti as an architect and designer of high performance multiprocessor servers. He also co-founded Viman Software, Inc., a network license management company. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from the IIT, Delhi and University of California at Santa Cruz, respectively.

He also earned a Master’s degree in engineering management from Stanford University.

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