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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Hotmail founder Bhatia hopes his new dreams will grow

Manu P Toms, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 21, 2013
First Published: 23:17 IST(21/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:19 IST(21/3/2013)

Fifteen years since Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia sold it to Microsoft, he has not repeated similar success with any of his technology ventures.

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Bhatia is now hoping that companies he founded such as travel portal Arzoo.com and telecom venture Jaxtr will fetch him fortune.

“I have been incredibly fortunate to have quick success with Hotmail,” said Bhatia on why he has not yet built something as hot as Hotmail. “It takes a long time these days to build great companies.”

Early this year, he launched a property management software company ‘X Mitter’ in India, which targets the hotel industry. Before this, he founded ‘AMP Technology’ in the US to provide software services to commercial realty market.

Besides this, he is an active investor in a few other startups. And, he is also toying with the idea of creating a city — something like Silicon Valley — in India that promotes technology education and entrepreneurship.

“There is no method to madness. If it solves real problems, I get involved,” he explains his propensity to start one company after the other. What next? “No, I don’t want to start more companies. I want to make these ventures successful before thinking about other ideas.”

Bhatia bets big on the new international SIM card Jaxtr has launched. “For an international traveler, to make a call from US to India the average rate is Rs.40 per minute, we offer it for Rs.7.5 per minute,” he said.

About other companies, he said “Arzoo will have Rs.1,000-crore revenue this year. In two months, X Mitter has got 30 hotels as clients. We will add 1,000 hotels in a year.”

However, his Nano city project in Haryana to replicate Silicon Valley has met land acquisition hurdles. “We are planning the same project in Gujarat,” he said.

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