Gurbaksh Singh Chahal is an internet entrepreneur, writer and philanthropist who by age of 25 had created and sold two advertising companies for 340 million dollars. He is one of the richest Indian Americans to have acquired such wealth under the age of 30.
Chahal was born on 17th July 1982 in a town of Punjab in India. When he was three his parents won the American Visa through the Green Card Lottery and by the next year the family moved to San Jose, California. Chahal dropped out of high school to work at ClickAgents, his first business venture which was an advertising network. By 2000 Value Click offered to buy the company for $40 million as an all stock merger with Chahal signing a three year non-compete agreement. Four years later Gurbaksh Chahal founded another advertising company by the name of Blue Lithium. It was an ad network which focused on behavioral targeting. The company became an innovator in online ad space. In 2006, Blue Lithium was recognized as a ‘Top Innovator’ and by 2007 it was the 5th biggest ad network of the US and the second biggest in the UK. That year Chahal’s luck once again took his side as Yahoo! purchased Blue Lithium for 300 million dollars with Chahal remaining as the Chief Executive Officer through this changeover.
After the purchase of Blue Lithium, Chahal did not sit idle. He planned to make yet another company and in 2009 founded his third online ad company ‘gWallet’. However, this time the emphasis was on something new; real-time advertising. On 1st December 2009 gWallet raised $12.5 million from Trinity Ventures, Stanford University, Adam Street Partners and many more. In October 2010 the non-compete agreement with Value Click ended so Chahal re-entered the online ad business by beginning RadiumOne which by 2012 had crossed $500 million in value.
Gurbaksh Chahal has made several television appearances such as on the Oprah Winfrey Show in which he was introduced as one of the youngest and richest entrepreneurs on Earth. In 2009, he appeared as America’s Most Eligible Bachelor on Extra TV. He was also on one of the episodes of ‘Secret Millionaire’ of Fox TV where he donated 110,000 dollars. Chahal has done plenty of philanthropic work. He launched a scholarship named ‘Gurbaksh Chahal- Entrepreneurial Scholarship Program’ in Pace University in 2010. He is the founder of ‘BeProud Foundation’ to which he contributed $1 million of his own. The purpose of this organization is to induce awareness about hate crimes and prevent them from happening in the future. Gurbaksh Chahal has also been a guest lecturer at several universities such as Pace University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Ryerson University, Columbia University and London School of Economics.
Chahal has been awarded several times for his achievements in the business world. According to BusinessWeek he was the Best Tech Entrepreneurs in 2010. The same year he was given the Leaders in Management Award by Pace University. Other accolades include Most Influential CEO, People’s Award for Excellence in Business Leadership and Amrapali Award for Entrepreneur of the Year in the Light of India Awards 2012.