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One Of A Kind- Divyank Turakhia; CEO & Founder Of Tech Company Media.net

Obsessed with managing risks, Divyank says, “Everything I do could kill me, so I make sure I know exactly what I’m doing!”

When you take the worst case scenarios in your mind and work accordingly, it is then when you outshine the pre-existing limits and set a benchmark so high for others to look vacantly.

Media.net, an overnight success or has he been grinding since his childhood?

As a kid, Divyank used to be hung up about video games. Playing? Sure. But creating them excited him to a whole new level! When he became an official teenager, he along with his brother, Bhavin Turakhia used their self- taught knowledge of computer languages which they had been learning since 8 years of age and coded a game in which the player is a businessman who has just lost his entire company to a deceitful partner. The point of the game was to create a new business from scratch. To win, the player had to capture 100% of the market share.

In the year 1994 when not even a quarter of 1% of the world’s population was on the Internet, Divyank used a 2400-baud modem (about 4300 times slower than today’s broadband) to launch his own BBS, so friends could dial in to play games.

From the start, Divyank had a strong entrepreneurial bent, he did the coding homework assignments of rich kids for $10, sharpening his coding skills and gaining money simultaneously. At 16 years of age, Divyank started setting up websites and corporate email accounts for some of the country’s largest companies.

The Inspiration

Devoured by the books of United States tech entrepreneur Bill Gates these tech savvy brothers took a loan of $500 from their father, Mumbai-based chartered accountant Mr. Mahendra Turakhia, to rent a U.S. server and start the web hosting company, Directi, first customers were the businesses for whom they had consulted. Within a month, they had enough clients to pay the loan back to their father and rent the server for three more months. Their client list included NASSCOM and the Nationalist Congress Party. By the time Divyank was 18, he had already stepped into million dollar club.

On and On

One opportunity led to another and as if a chain reaction had been triggered, their business kept flourishing. In the year 2001, they bought their own domain registrar and started accepting orders from across the globe.

He grabbed his Bachelor of commerce degree from a local college at the age of 20 when his mother insisted him for one.

The Heart Prick

Soon young millionaire started to look for a different angle that could give him the new business idea. He analyzed the money flow in the virtual world and the most appealing term that struck his brain was the advertisement. He regrets that he got into this late as Google had been in the business for almost 5 years but he identified a loophole, he had been running a domain registration business, Radix, which operated a group of generic domains like .store, .tech, and .online. He studied the way AdSense got started, long before Google bought it. He figured he could write contextual targeting technology that displayed relevant ads on undeveloped domains. He first built a business to license the ad-matching technology to domain publishers. He always knew what he was doing.

Recognition of his Worth

Divyank never settled for less. He sold four units of Directi group to the Endurance International Group in a deal for around $110 million. He offered Yahoo to build a network that would decide which ads were placed in a page’s ad spots, based on the subject matter of the web page that the user is reading. His ad network did a better job of drawing an audience to Yahoo’s ads than expected. The following year, Yahoo signed an exclusive deal with him that prevented him neither working nor selling his company to Google. In exchange, Divyank had the right to call his company a Yahoo network.

Events that triggered Divyank to opt for the Chinese market

Media.net became so crucial to Yahoo’s business that the company considered buying it three times!

In the preceding years as a Yahoo partner, Divyank had gained a reputation as an aggressive negotiator. The deal stalled.

In early 2015 second attempt was made, the search business of Media.net has been expanding, while Yahoo’s core businesses continued to struggle. As Yahoo moved to dramatically reduce its overseas development staff, most of Media.net’s employees were in India.

The final attempt came late in 2015. By then, Yahoo was in cost-cutting mode, and the deal didn’t survive.

Highly disappointed by Yahoo, Divyank got serious about selling Media.net. He hired bankers, and fielded interest from private equity funds in the United States and Europe, but their offers seemed insignificant compared to the interest and offers that arrived from Chinese companies. It was then when he shook hands with Zhiyong Zhang, chairman of the telecom equipment company Beijing Miteno Communication Technology, who raised money to purchase Media.net through a consortium (major assets restructuring).

Benefiting Mutually

Zhiyong Zhang was fascinated by Media.net when the company reported $232 million in sales this year because more than half of which came from mobile ads and nearly all of which came from U.S. advertisers. The company has also developed the technology that doesn’t exist in China thus added the cherry on top.

Possessions

Divyank loves being rich and never ceases to turn the heads. In his partnership with Bhavin, they together run a variety of businesses including the Directi Group, Skenzo and a part of Media.net. He owns houses in Dubai, Mumbai, Vancouver, and San Francisco. Being a patient of osteoporosis he is into extreme sports and his speedy rides include Ferrari 458 Spider, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and a Porsche.

Is it his luck that makes the money flow to him or he is brilliant in covering up his excessively detailed profession? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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