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Indian-American’s journey to building a $2 billion cybersecurity empire

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Jay Chaudhry, originally from a small village in Himachal Pradesh, India, has built a $2-billion annual revenue cybersecurity firm in the US called Zscaler. Chaudhry’s journey began in Panoh, where he walked 4 km daily to the nearest school.

Excelling academically, he pursued a BTech at the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU), and later moved to the US for a master’s at the University of Cincinnati with a Tata scholarship.

Chaudhry’s career started at IBM, but his entrepreneurial spirit led him to found multiple successful companies. His first company, SecureIT, struggled initially but later found success as an internet security service, eventually acquired by VeriSign.

He went on to start and lead other companies like CoreHarbor, CipherTrust, and AirDefense, all of which were acquired by major corporations.

In 2007, Chaudhry founded Zscaler with a $50 million personal investment, aiming to create a long-lasting cybersecurity business. Zscaler now protects major global companies like Tata Steel, Tata Power, FedEx, Siemens, and Goldman Sachs from cyberattacks. The company’s Zero Trust Exchange platform connects users, devices, and applications securely across the globe.

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Zscaler has a significant presence in India, with offices in Bangalore, Chandigarh, Pune, and Hyderabad. The company has a large security research team in India focusing on new cyber threats. Major Indian clients include system integrators, Godrej, Tata Steel, Tata Power, Aditya Birla, and government entities. India ranks sixth in Zscaler’s global business after the US, Japan, the UK, Germany, and Australia.

Zscaler reached $1 billion in annual recurring revenue in 15 years and doubled that in just seven quarters. Chaudhry aims to continue growing, targeting a potential market of $100 billion without plans to sell the company.

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