I am the Founder & Managing Director of Greynium which is based in Bengaluru (Bangalore). Greynium owns many India specific portals – our focus is on languages. In April 2010 Netcore took a majority stake in Greynium. In 2017 India’s leading mobile app, DailyHunt took a majority stake in Greynium.
One of the areas I have been concentrating on is Indian languages – on web & mobile. Especially on the mobile, there are many hurdles which make the problem solving more fun.
In 2010, I contributed a chapter in the book “15 Years of Internet in India”. In December 2012, I was listed amongst the “Icons of India’s Digital Ecosystem“.
In late 2012 I was offered to join the team that worked on “Mission 272+ Digital Campaign for 2014 General Elections in India“. It was a great experience as it was the first time a digital campaign was used in a big way during general elections,
- 814.5 million were eligible to vote, of which 23 million were first tie voters.
- A total of 8,251 candidates contested for the 543 Lok Sabha seats.
- The average election turnout over all nine phases was around 66.38%
- Grade I-X from Kendriya Vidyalaya (Malleswaram-Bangalore, Danapur Cantt-Patna, ASC-Bangalore).
- PUC (XI & XII) from National College, Basavangudi (Bangalore). Our PUC exams was very eventful (in the wrong way). We had re-exams after re-exams and finally the govt decide to introduce CET from our batch.
- Under Graduate Degree (B.E.) in Computer Science & Engineering from SJCE, Mysore [3rd in class, 7th rank in Mysore University].
- Graduate Degree from University of Alabama at Birmingham (MS in CSE)
- Graduate Certificate in Internet Security from George Mason University (did not complete as I decided to return to India)
My boss, Dr. Ernest Stokely, played a big role in encouraging me to learn. He loved my Indian cooking. The fun part of working in such departments is the naming of systems. I worked on a system called “amnese” (amnesia).
I was very active on Usenet from early 1990s (soc.culture.indian, soc.culture.indian.karnataka, alt.visa.us and system admin groups). Through these groups I met John Goodsen (in 2014 John died of a heart attack), who was having some problems with a Solbourne Workstation. This system was very similar to Sun and I was able to solve his technical problems. John was working at EVB Engineering which specialized in ADA related work.
At EVB I worked on a GUI Builder (GRAMMI – Generated Reusable Ada Man Machine Interface) which was developed in ADA, truly a beautiful structured programming language.
- How to send money to India from the US to India?
- Which was the cheapest Long Distance carrier to call India?
- US Immigration FAQ – this is popular even today.
- TeleUSE FAQ – for techies.
My personal site had gained very good traction amongst NRIs. In 1995 I decided to rename it as mahesh.com.
I asked my good friend Rajiv S. Khanna (yes, I know he is a lawyer!) to reserve immigration.com and he told me “BG, you just do it for me”. I moved the US Immigration FAQ to immigration.com as I thought it more apt for Rajiv to maintain it.
My innings at EVB ended in 1995 and I decided to move to Dalmatian Group which specialized in GUI development using TeleUSE.
In 1998 I joined Paragon Software in Virginia. Paragon developed a CORBA ORB called Oak.
On the suggestion of my friend Prashanth Prakash, in 1998 I moved the contents of mahesh.com to BhaaratEkKhoj.com. He was of the opinion I shouldn’t be having something so big on a personal domain name.
There were very few who understood portal in 1999. I was always concentrating on the core part of the portal – content and technical. I could/can write content, I could/can understand technical issues. It is a wonderful combination to have. I had my share of designations: “Co-Founder & President – Portal”, “Co-Founder & CTO” and finally “Co-Founder & CEO”.
In early 2000 I initiated the launch of Indian languages on the internet. We didn’t know how well it would do but I should say we did well by all standards. There was a huge followership for our language portals from NRIs based in US.
By August 2000 the entire Internet portal scene changed in India – majority of the portals shut. Rather, all fly by night operators disappeared.
It was a painful phase of my life. Wasn’t sure what to do as the company had grown in multiple cities. It was decided the company had to be “right sized” which was the correct decision.
We had many issues to take care of and it was then I was made the CEO of the company. It was a challenge which I took upon myself. Had to learn all aspects of running a company “without money”!
I had some of the finest people working with me at Indiainfo (content and technical). It is not easy to keep a portal going without any marketing budget and funding but we successfully did it. In Dec 2005 I exited indiainfo.