Meet Jay Chaudhry, the man who studied under a tree in Himachal to become one of the world’s top billionaires today

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Meet Jay Chaudhry, the man who studied under a tree in Himachal to become one of the world’s top billionaires today
Jay ChaudhryZscaler
  • Jay Chaudhry and his family own 45% of the Nasdaq listed ZScaler, which is today worth $28 billion.
  • According to the Hurun Global Rich List 2021, Chaudhry saw his estimated net worth grow by 271% last year to $13 billion.
  • The Indian American Chaudhry grew up in a Himalayan village called Panoh, in the Una district of Himachal Pradesh.
The 62-year old Jay Chaudhry, the owner of the cybersecurity firm Zscaler, has climbed 577 spots in Hurun Global Rich list 2021, and has also made his way into being one of India’s top ten richest.

Chaudhry and his family own 45% of the Nasdaq-listed ZScaler, which is today worth $28 billion.

According to the Hurun list, Chaudhry saw his net worth grow by 271% last year to $13 billion. The faster adoption of digital technologies since the COVID-19 pandemic⁠— like in the case of video conferencing apps like Zoom or content platforms like Netflix⁠— helped Chaudhry’s company too.

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For the second quarter of 2021, Zscaler saw its revenues at $157 million, up 10% sequentially and 55% year-on-year. “There is an accelerated market shift towards work from anywhere, which is the world Zscaler was built for,” he said after the company declared its latest quarterly earnings. The company has over 5,000 customers⁠— including a fourth of the Global 2,000⁠— and over 2,600 employees.

From a life of no electricity to being one of the world’s richest

Chaudhry grew up in a Himalayan village called Panoh, in the Una district of Himachal Pradesh. During his childhood, with no access to electricity, Chaudhry studied under trees. “I used to walk nearly 4 km everyday to attend my high school at Dhusara, the neighbouring village,” he said in an interview to the Tribune many years ago.

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Today, Chaudhry, an American citizen, is one of the world’s richest with an estimated net worth of $13 billion. He founded Zscaler in 2008 and closed its initial public offering in 2018. On its first day of trading the company closed at $33, which was 106% of the listing price of $16.

“My success so far has mainly been because I have very little attachment for money. My obsession is really to make sure that the internet and cloud are a safe place for everyone to do business," he told Business Standard in 2019.

Not his first tryst with success

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For Chaudhry, this isn’t the first time he’s seeing success. The IIT BHU graduate with an MBA from University of Cincinnati, is a serial entrepreneur.

Chaudhry’s companySold to Amount Year
AirDefenseMotorolaUndisclosed2008
CipherTrustSecure Computing$274 million2006
Secure ITVeriSignUndisclosed1998
CoreHarborAT&T Undisclosed1996


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