Gurbaksh is a die-hard internet entrepreneur. In January 1999, he started his first company, ClickAgents at the age of 16. It was one of the first ad networks focused around performance based advertising. Eighteen months later he sold it for $40 million to ValueClick.
In January 2004, he launched his second company, BlueLithium. The company focused on data, optimization, and analytics and became a pioneer in behavioral targeting. On September 4th, 2007, Yahoo! announced that it was acquiring BlueLithium for $300 million in cash.
Some of his television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bonnie Hunt, EXTRA and Neil Cavuto, among others. He has also been profiled in such publications as The New York Times, Entrepreneur magazine, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Chahal is also an international best-selling author of "The Dream," the true inspirational tale of his entrepreneurial journey. In September 2009, Chahal launched gWallet, now re-branded as RadiumOne.
On April 29, 2010, Chahal was awarded the Leaders In Management Award and an Honorary Doctorate degree in Commercial Science from Pace University for his career achievements as an entrepreneur.
Gurbaksh Chahal: Hiring the right people and surrounding yourself around people that want to see you succeed is probably the biggest challenge in starting a business. The first five people you hire will either determine whether you’ll have a company or not. The first 20 people will probably determine whether you can create a culture that will become a very big company or it’s going to stay within the parameters of a 20 company or less, so once you hire the right people and they have all -- everyone’s interests are aligned on the same objective -- you’ll begin to innovate. You’ll begin to execute and you’ll begin to win on the evolution stages of a company.
The number one quality that I look for in the first five people is what are they in it for and how hungry are they. So if there's someone that has either made too much money or is focused only on it from a monetary perspective, it kind of concerns me. Someone that actually realizes that you know what they have had success and they’re addicted to success and they’re hungry to do it bigger and better you can easily go ahead and smoke that out into someone’s perspective on why they’re there, so hunger, ambition and desire to succeed are three of the biggest traits.
A company becomes successful when the culture never changes and it stays within the parameters of how it was founded. You want to hire entrepreneurs and you want to make sure that the people that they hire are also entrepreneurs, so people that are always trying to solve problems whether it’s from a sales perspective or whether it’s from an account management perspective, whether it’s from a technology perspective – so everybody is focused on having creative control and being their own version of an entrepreneur no matter what size of the company they’re at.
Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd
Gurbaksh Chahal: At 16, the first person I hired was my older brother. I knew I could trust him implicitly and he’d already been my confidante and helper.