Date of Birth: 30-Dec-1968
Place of Birth: Chandigarh, Punjab, India
Nationality: United States of America, India
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Sabeer was born in Chandigarh on 30 December 1968. He grew up in Bangalore and did his education at the Bishop’s School in Pune and then at St Joseph’s Boys High School in Bangalore. In 1988, he went to the US for his bachelor degree at the California Institute of Technology after a foreign transfer from BITS Pilani, Rajasthan. He earned a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
He got engaged to Geeta Oberoi in 2003 but broke off the engagement. He married Tanya Sharma in 2008 and divorced her in 2013.
After graduation, Sabeer briefly worked for Apple Computer (as a hardware engineer) and Firepower Systems Inc. While working there he was amazed at the fact that he could access any software on the internet via a web browser. He, along with his colleague Jack Smith, set up Hotmail on 4 July 1996.
Into the 21st century, Hotmail is the world’s second largest e-mail provider with over 369 million registered users, a figure exceeded only by Google’s Gmail service. As President and CEO, he guided Hotmail’s rapid rise to industry leadership and its eventual acquisition by Microsoft in 1998. Bhatia worked at Microsoft for a little over a year after the Hotmail acquisition and in April 1999, left Microsoft to start another venture, Arzoo Inc, an e-commerce firm.
Bhatia started a free messaging service called JaxtrSMS. He said that JaxtrSMS would do to SMS what Hotmail did for e-mail. Claiming it to be a disruptive technology, he says that the operators will lose revenue on the reduction in number of SMSes on their network but will benefit from the data plan that the user has to buy. To date, JaxtrSMS service has failed to replicate the success of Hotmail. Recently, he invested in email collaboration software, ccZen.
Acclaim and legacy
Bhatia’s success has earned him widespread acclaim; the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson named him ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 1997’, MIT chose him as one of 100 young innovators who are expected to have the greatest impact on technology and awarded ‘TR100’, San Jose Mercury News and POV magazine selected him as one of the ten most successful entrepreneurs of 1998 and Upside magazine’s list of top trend setters in the New Economy named him ‘Elite 100’.
Sabeer was inducted into Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) as an undergraduate student.