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Hotmail’s Bhatia starts video job net


NEW DELHI: Sabeer Bhatia has perhaps lived through one of the biggest accomplishments that any Indiaborn techpreneur can dream of in terms of scoring global success. Having sold his email platform Hotmail (developed along with co-founder Jack Smith) to Microsoft for $400 million in 1998, Bhatia — then 30 years old — did manage to create a record of sorts. However, the BITS Pilani alumni, who did his Master’s from Stanford, could never really replicate the mega success yet again. He is back now, with a new venture — ShowReel — a social video platform that connects job seekers with potential employers. Bhatia feels that ShowReel, which will help job-seekers create professional videos of themselves in response to questions posed by mentors or hirers, will help companies find out merits in an individual beyond resumes. So, what did Bhatia do in over two decades after his deal with Microsoft. He tried his hands across many ventures and invested across several tech companies, but nothing came closer to the success of Hotmail. Does he invest in Indian startups? “No. There are lot of efforts required to invest in startups in India. I don’t directly invest in startups. It’s all through funds. They make decision on investments,” Bhatia tells TOI. An education system, simply focused on scoring marks with not much emphasis on ‘inquiry’ and inquisitiveness, means less creativity, he says. He lauds success of Indian startups and stratospheric valuations that some of them get, but says ‘original ideas’ are still missing, which means lesser chance of scoring a global success. “All our unicorns are copycats of what has been done in the West” On bitcoin and crypto, he sounds a cautionary note and feels they are headed towards a ban.


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