Jay Chaudhry has secured his place among the top 10 of wealthiest people in India, according to the latest IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich list 2021. The net wealth of the 62-year-old business tycoon has been estimated at Rs 1,21,600 crore. He has earned Rs 153 crore daily in last one year, according to the list.
The CEO and founder of the Zscaler, once hailed from a small North Indian village in Himachal Pradesh, founded the cyber security firm in 2007. The IIT alumnus is the owner of 42 per cent of the Nasdaq-listed firm, which has a market cap of Rs 281,000 crore. The increase in demand of the company’s cyber security company on the back of increased corporate ransomware attacks contributes to nearly 85 per cent of the immense wealth under his name. This has pushed him to the number 10 spot on the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich list 2021.
Yes, today he is a titan of his industry and stands as a prominent self-made billionaire. However, he was not always this fortunate growing up. In his native village of Panoh, often times he and his family would have to endure days without electricity or running water. Coming from such a humble background it truly is a tale of rags to riches where he has made himself among one of the wealthiest in the country.
One major contributing factor to the wealth that Chaudhry was able to generate was the Covid-19 pandemic. While most of the nation was adjusting to the new dynamic and work-from-home was becoming more and more a necessity, the need for cybersecurity was also driven up. During 2020, Chaudhry’s company grew exponentially, with its stocks rising nearly 300 per cent, which placed it in the league of software programmes like Zoom. It would seem that around 50 per cent of the company’s revenues in the year 2020 as a result of Value-added resellers, according to a report by ‘The Software Report’.
Before the founding of Zscaler, Chaudhry had founded four other tech companies which were all bought out. These companies were SecureIT, CoreHarbor, CipherTrust and AirDefense, safe to say, this was not his first time in the business of scaling up a company to such an extent. In fact, SecureIT was his first start-up company, which he began in 1996 after both he and his wife quit their jobs and invested their life savings into the proto cybersecurity firm.
Apart from Chaudhry, there are other new faces that have made their way onto the top 10 richest people on the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich list 2021. Steel magnates Lakshmi Mittal, 71 of ArcelorMittal as well as Kumar Mangalam Birla, 54 of Aditya Birla; both of whom occupy the number 5 and number 9 spots on the list respectively. It should be noted that this year, it is for the first time that both the Adani brothers featured in the top 10 IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich list 2021.
In a press release, speaking in detail about the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich list 2021, it was said, “1,007 individuals, up 179, across 119 cities, up 5, have INR 1,000 crore on the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2021. Cumulative wealth up 51 per cent, while average wealth increased by 25 per cent. 894 individuals saw their wealth increase or stay the same, of which 229 new faces, whilst 113 saw their wealth drop and there were 51 drop-offs. India has 237 billionaires, up 58 compared to last year. Chemicals and Software produced the greatest number of new entrants to the list, Pharma is still the number 1 and has contributed 130 entrants in the list.”