Youthful success

I was invited recently to a celebration for Darpan, a South Asian magazine published in Canada. The event in Surrey, B.C., was memorable for a keynote speech by Gurbaksh Singh Chahal.

An immigrant to the United States from the Punjab region of India, Chahal is an extraordinary 21st century entrepreneur. He left high school at the age of 16 to launch an internet advertising company. A mere two years later, he sold the company for $40 million. He then formed another company and a few years later sold this second venture to Yahoo! for over $300 million.

Still under 30 years of age and living in California, he is one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world and is now working on his third company, which aims to connect brands with social media.

Chahal, who's known in the States by the initial of his first name,"G," offered a few examples of the things he's learned from personal experience during his meteoric career. Some of these tips I'm summarizing here:

  • "Life is actionable." Ideas are just ideas, but success is all about execution. Always focus on performance.
  • "Stand up for what you believe." Be confident and focus on the image you wish to project. Approach issues from a position of strength. Sell a dream and then build it.
  • "Accept rejection." Don't be afraid to ask for help and learn from your mistakes. "Put yourself out there." You've got to develop a thick skin.
  • Relationships are everything in business and in life. Chahal says, "I never, ever burn a bridge."

Chahal has written a book (The Dream) and appeared in the Fox TV series, "Secret Millionaire." He's also been a guest on "Oprah."

It was an interesting talk and an interesting evening with the Punjabi-speaking community in British Columbia.


Gurbaksh Singh Chahal's website is located here.

A review of The Dream is at this site.

The South Asian magazine Darpan can be found here.


  1. Vern Freedlander20 October 2010 at 08:29

    Hi Renato,
    Hope all is well. Good post.I have followed Gurbaksh's career with great fascination. I am always impressed with how he sticks to the basics; good relationships and remaining focussed on goals. I am equally impressed with his devotion to family. Best, Vern

  2. Hi Renato,

    I've been folllowing your blog every now & then. I enjoy reading your posts- informative & entertaining, indeed. This particular post was very inspiring and it almost made me feel nostalgic about my time in Vancouver.

    Roma Kaur

  3. Hi, Roma.
    Thanks for your note. I'm glad you enjoy reading the blog. Vancouver's a very interesting place.