29th March 2021


From the hills to the heights of Wall Street: Jay Chaudhary

Jagtar Chaudhary known as Jay Chaudhary is in the limelight, shooting many places in the world’s richest list. But talking to Jay, one will soon realize that list or his place on it is incidental. For Jay, the joy of doing something new, exciting and value-adding is what has driven him to work like the mountain person he is.

Born in Panoh village of Una district of Himachal Pradesh, Jay Chaudhary today is an aspirational figure for all, not just in the tech industry. His is truly a rag to riches story, well from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the civilized and commercial world. Born into a family with limited means in a limiting land with no running water too, Jay used to walk 4km every day in the not so easy terrain of Himachal Pradesh to go to school. Although for most this might seem an inconvenience, perhaps these walks in the lovely idyllic mountain paths gave him the necessary tools to think deeply, meditate on his learnings and logic, honing his skills, undisturbed by distractions that mar an urban existence.
Growing up in a focused environment with beauty all around, Jay Chaudhary grew up happy even in austerity. He studied hard and was able to crack one of the toughest examinations to get into Banaras Hindu University, now IIT BHU for a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. Completing the course with flying colours and academic hunger stoked further, Jay decided to go to the USA to pursue his post-graduation and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

entrepreneur who used to live near our resort in dharamshala

Jay Chaudhary being an intelligent and diligent person was soon lapped up by companies such as IBM, Unisys, and IQ Software where he worked in Sales and Marketing, understanding the nature of the business when it comes to software. Here is where he perhaps learnt his skills in recognizing gaps in the market.

After having for over two decades, Jay Chaudhary decided to go his own way. Having lost his father at a young age, Jay was brought up by his mother, whom he looked up to. The female influence and respect he had for the fairer sex were translated to a true partnership with his wife Jyothi who not just motivated his first venture but also funded it from her life’s savings. Subsequently, all the ventures by this serial entrepreneur have been a family undertaking with both husband and wife working hard to make them a success. Family values from the Himachal have done Jay well. Our little resort in Palampur, Rakkh Resort too is a family-owned and operated business and we are proud of people such as Jay and Jyothi who have made India and Himachal Pradesh proud.

Jay Chaudhary’s first startup was SecureIT, a cybersecurity firm started in 1996. He later went on to start many companies. But SecureIT was the foundation to all these. He was able to sell SecureIT to VeriSign with 70 of his employees becoming multimillionaires in the process. Again, the Himachali trait and value of sharing have marked everything Jay has done, standing him in good stead with good people willing to put their effort into his cause and visions. In our own little way at Rakkh Resort in Palampur, we do give back to the community and the locals who work with us.

entrepreneur who lived near our resort in dharamshala

After the sale of SecureIT, Jay and his family were flush with funds and his desire to do more just grew. He wanted to create more startups but wanted to go about it cautiously. The parents of three children, Jay and Jyothi decided to approach creating startups too as they approached their family planning. Spacing out each venture, same as kids, Jay Chaudhary created many companies, one of them being the famed ZScaler, a cloud-based cybersecurity provider. Other companies he started are CoreHarbour, CipherTrust, AirDefense selling many of these on the way to companies such as Motorola.

ZScaler itself was started in 2008 and went public in a historic IPO in 2018. 2020 was a particularly great year for ZScaler with remote working necessitating greater security measures that were not satisfied by the traditional perimeter-based security companies. Jay Chaudhary had seen this gap many years in advance and was ready when the time came to scale up to provide remote security for the highly mobile workforce and WFH conmpanies. The pandemic of 2020 made this a necessity rather than luxury, catapulting Jay Chaudhary and family, who own 45% of the company to one of the world’s richest families.

From gazing at the clouds in the clear skies of Himachal to creating security solutions that make transactions and working safe and secure on the virtual clouds, Jay Chaudhary has made all Paharis and Indians proud. At Rakkh Resort in Palampur, we understand the value of education and the role it plays in creating many Jay Chaudharys and so have been promoting and supporting our local school. We wish to host Jay Chaudhary if he ever decides to travel in our part of the mountains and have him interact with the kids of our villages, to inspire them into greater effort and education.

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061