Where did you grow up? Go to school?
I grew up in Delhi, India, and that’s also where I finished my formal schooling.
What did/do you do in your “day job?”
I started my career as a graphic designer and moved to the hot new field (then) of internet and web designing soon after. Later as an entrepreneur, I learned to do a bit of everything – from business strategy to financial reporting – that is involved in running a tech company. In the early days I joked that I wrote the business plan and also took out the trash.
Why did you want to be on the CFHoCo Board of Trustees?
When the opportunity was offered to me, I was excited the most about working with like-minded people to improve things within our community. We are fortunate to live in a wonderful place, but there are areas of great need here. Working with other board members has definitely broadened my horizons.
When did you start giving to issues that are important to you?
Even as kids, we were encouraged to donate what little we could manage to causes that moved us. That has continued as we are passing on these values to our own kids now.
What are 2-3 areas of interest or non-profits that you give to?
We, as a family, try to focus at the intersection of education and nutrition in our giving. As immigrants who moved and built lives here largely on the basis of our professional qualifications, we understand how critical a good education is. We also recognize that nutritious food is important in building the bodies and brains that will learn the best.
Two very important criterion for us when evaluating an organization are whether our contribution will be leveraged for a lasting change and does the organization have a plan in place to become self-sustaining so they are not relying on donors for the long term.
What advice do you have for those interested in giving back?
Jump in, don’t wait for the right time, right opportunity or the right cause to come to you asking for your help. Another very useful piece of advice that we got from friends more experienced than us was to learn to say “no” to causes that don’t make sense to us.