[Note: This article is part of The Junction Series. Gautam Sinha will be speaking at “The Junction” in Jaipur in January 2017. Get a deep dive on entrepreneurship and more with him. Learn more about The Junction here!]
Gautam Sinha, CEO of Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times Group, is no newbie to tech. Right from his engineering days while pursuing Computer Science from BIT, Ranchi to working in DRDO with the late Dr. Abdul Kalam from 1986 -1991 in his integrated missile development programme and later on to pursuing an MS in Computer Science from the University of Iowa and working in an AI company to running his first startup CashEdge and now – serving as a Chief Executive Officer at Times Internet – Gautam has always felt the need to contribute and associate with Computer Science.
“Computer science was a new discipline in 1982 which was very new, at that point in time. It showed a lot of promise then. I always wanted to become an entrepreneur and Computer Science was the fastest way to reach there,” begins Gautam.
Thus, it hardly comes as a surprise that in his over nine years of association with the Times Internet group, Gautam along with Satyan Gajwani , CEO, has been actively involved in changing its DNA from a media company to a conglomerate consisting of leading large-scale digital businesses. With brands as diverse as TOI, ET, Magicbricks, Gaana, Dineout, Cricbuzz, Haptik, CouponDunia, ViralShots, Smartapp,ET Money, and Databack under its umbrella, the TIL group now claims to cover more than 50% of India’s Internet user base.
And Gautam’s task is cut out. “Our aim is to have satisfied engaged users in the digital arena.”
In a candid conversation with Inc42, Gautam reveals how the TIL group has transitioned over the years from a media company to a digital product company and what went behind it. And one major experience behind this drive has been Gautam’s own personal experience with a startup and his association with entrepreneurs.
From A Payments Startup To A Media Conglomerate
Gautam’s stint with entrepreneurship started in 1999 with US-based CashEdge – a payments startup which provided online funds transfer and personal financial account aggregation services to financial institutions. Prior to joining CashEdge as a COO/CTO, Gautam had raked in a lot of experience in various disciplines. He invested as an angel in the company which was founded by his colleague Sanjeev Dhar and Dilip Venkatachari.