Each one of us has a story. Each of our stories has to unite to create our new shared future. I will tell you mine.
I was born 50 years ago in a family saddled with debt. My father’s hard work and entrepreneurial instincts helped me get a good education first in India, and later in the US. After working two years in the US, responding to a call from my father, I returned to India to become an entrepreneur. As a technology entrepreneur, I created India’s first set of Internet portals in the late 1990s – Samachar, Khoj, Khel and Bawarchi. I was a pioneer in Asia’s dotcom revolution. I then worked to create a $100 computer (which was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine). I also started what is today India’s largest digital marketing company.
My journey at the edge of politics began in late 2008. It all started with a question a friend asked me: “Rajesh, when your son (who was 3 years old then) grows up and asks you – Papa, you saw all that was happening wrong in India. You had the time, you had the money. Why didn’t you do something about it?” That question made me think hard. As an entrepreneur, I like to take up hard problems to solve, and undoubtedly, the biggest problem in India was that of governance. So, I said, let me take this as a challenge and see what I can do about it. That got me started in the world of politics – although from the periphery.
In early 2009, with a few others and with support from the BJP, I set up Friends of BJP, to get the urban middle class to support the BJP. BJP lost, and the idea of getting the middle class engaged with politics also temporarily went into cold storage.
In 2010, I met Mr. Modi for the first time and told him that I would like to work to make him Prime Minister in 2014. I told him I wanted to work for him because I thought he would be the best person to lead and transform India.And my political journey continues…