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How Gurbaksh Chahal is Using His Success to Change the World

Silicon Valley has quite a few stories that inspire entrepreneurs, but none of them come close to the story of Gurbaksh Chahal and his journey to success. A school dropout from a family of immigrants became one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, whose vision made him a millionaire before the age of 20.

But there is more than just a success story that Gurbaksh Chahal is willing to share with the world. He is also the founder of Chahal Foundation, a non-profit operating across the globe pursuing to eradicate illiteracy and poverty and give a chance to any girl and boy from underprivileged background to write their own success story.

The foundation, previously known as BeProud, was renamed to The Chahal Foundation on July 17, 2014 to broaden its scope. The date is significant: Gurbaksh Chahal was born on July 17, 1982, and the foundation is his gift to the world for a better tomorrow for everyone. It aims to raise awareness of social causes, eradicate illiteracy, child labor and sex trafficking, support disaster relief efforts, and create good educational conditions for children from the third-world countries.

But who is this man and why he puts so much funds and effort into this cause?

From Zero to Millions

Gurbaksh Chahal was born in 1983 in the Indian province of Punjab. At the age of four he moved with his brother and parents to San Jose, California. Both his parents had academic background, but starting a new life in the new country was not at all easy. Hoping for a better future for their children, Gurbaksh’s parents encouraged them to study and pursue professional careers, but the entrepreneurial talent forced Gurbaksh to concentrate on other opportunities. And he didn’t miss his chance.

In the 90s signified the rapid growth of the Internet and e-commerce. At the age of 16 Gurbaksh, a high-school dropout, founded his first company, ClickAgents, that revolutionized online advertising. 18 months later the company was sold for millions of dollars. With that money, Gurbaksh paid off his parents’ mortgage and laid foundation for future success.

In 2004, Chahal founded another company, BlueLithium. His pioneering approach revolutionized the Internet advertising: Gurbaksh’s company was the first to use behavioral targeting that is now the de facto standard in the industry.

In 2006, BlueLithium received the highest honor of Top Innovator of the Year in acknowledgement of its achievement. To put it in perspective, such companies as Skype and Google can also boast of receiving this award. It is therefore not surprising that in 2007 BlueLithium was acquired by Yahoo! for the mind-blowing sum of three hundred million dollars, rocketing Chahal to the entrepreneurial stratosphere.

However, Gurbaksh was not going to rest on his laurels – far from it! In 2009, he launched a whole new business. RadiumOne, a multi-channel DSP, his third successful company. Later, came the fourth, Gravity4, an innovative company with a global presence that employs over four hundred people worldwide.

How Gurbaksh Chahal’s Personal Story Inspires Others

In 2008 Gurbaksh Chahal published an autobiography titled “The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions”. The book touched millions of hearts and inspired entrepreneurs across the globe. It details his journey from nowhere to very top of success and provides rich food for thought for anyone willing to succeed in this competitive world.

Here are some quotes from the book that have helped people overcome the hurdles on their way to professional success.

  • Listen to your heart. We tend to do well at things we love, so find something you love—or learn to love what you’re doing.
  • Adjust your attitude. Without the right attitude, you’ll never succeed. You have to believe in yourself, often to the point of madness, because until you prove yourself, the only people who believe in you are your mom and dad (if you’re lucky). If you have any doubts, get out now.
  • Own your mistakes. At the end of the day, every decision you make, even it was inspired by misguided advice, is your decision. Nobody wins when you start looking for someone to blame. Let it go. Keep moving. Forward movement is everything.
  • Be fearless. The road to success is paved with failures. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed.

These words from a man who made himself inspire many entrepreneurs that want to write their own success story.

Gurbaksh Chahal is willing to share his experience and vision in his blog, he’s also a contributing author of The Huffington Post and often becomes a hero of other publications. Up till now he’s one of the few Indian-Americans to have been invited to the Oprah Winfrey Show, and he’s also appeared on many other television shows.

Apart from public acclaim, he’s also won a number of professional awards. To name just a few:

  • “Always on Top Innovator of the Year” award in 2006.
  • “BusinessWeek, Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs” award in 2010.
  • “Pace University, Leaders in Management Award” along with an honorary degree in “Commercial Science” in 2010.
  • “India’s Most Influential Business Man of the Year” award again in 2010.
  • “Most Influential CEO – Under 30 CEO” in 2011
  • “Light of India Award” in 2012
  • People’s Award for “Amrapali Award for Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Excellence in Business Leadership” both in 2012 at the same platform.
  • “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in Northern California in 2013.

Gurbaksh Chahal like no one else knows what it takes to become successful against all odds, and he wants to share his knowledge with the world. “#Belimitless” is his motto, and his commitment to common good drives his effort to create a better tomorrow for everyone.

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