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10 Things You Didn't Know about Girish Mathrubootham

Girish Mathrubootham is a name that has been much mention in business news in recent times. This is because he is the founder and CEO of Freshworks, a software company that has been listed on NASDAQ. Said company has had a very successful IPO, with the result that Mathrubootham is now a millionaire many, many, many times over.

1. Came from the City of Trichy

Mathrubootham comes from the city of Trichy in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Said city is quite old, as shown by how it was once the capital of the Chola dynasty that existed as early as the 3rd century BCE. Nowadays, Trichy plays an important role in its state's economy, transportation, and education system. On an international level, it is sometimes known for Trichies, which are a kind of cheroot that were popular with the British during the British Empire.

2. His Parents Divorced When He Was Young

When Mathrubootham was still at the age of seven, his parents divorced. After which, his father got remarried just three years later. Apparently, these events left permanent marks on Mathrubootham, with the result that he sometimes find it difficult to understand relationships.

3. The Way that He Was Parented Influenced His Way of Parenting

We learn from our experiences. As a result, it makes sense that people's way of parenting are often influenced one way or another by the way that they were raised by their parents. In Mathrubootham's case, his upbringing meant that he had to start making his own decisions with his own consequences at an earlier age than a lot of other children. Said experience left its marks. However, it also cultivated in him a belief that children should be free to start making their own decisions at an earlier age, so much so that he doesn't like making decisions for his kids. This is because Mathrubootham believes that good decision-making needs experience, meaning that children who start making their own decisions will be much better-prepared for independence when they venture outwards into the world as adults.

4. Didn't Do So Well in Some of His Exams

Academically, Mathrubootham has made no secret about the fact that he didn't do so well with his entrance exams. As a result, some of his relatives insulted him, saying that he was good enough to be a rickshaw puller but nothing more than that. For those who are unfamiliar, rickshaws are passenger carts with either two or three wheels, so it should come as no surprise to learn that rickshaw pullers are not held in high regard. However, Mathrubootham neither reacted nor responded at the time. Instead, he used that insult to light a fire under himself. On the whole, Mathrubootham was quite successful, not least because he went on to complete a bachelor's degree at the Shanmugha Arts, Science Technology and Research Academy and then a master's degree at the University of Madras.

5. Believes in Following One's Heart

Speaking of which, Mathrubootham has quoted a Bollywood movie to emphasize his belief that one should follow one's heart. By doing so, interested individuals may or may not become wealthy. However, they will at least become happy. For a lot of people, that would be the end goal of making money anyways.

6. Moved Back to India After the Dotcom Bubble Burst

Currently, Freshworks has its headquarters in San Mateo, CA. However, Mathrubootham is no stranger to the United States. After all, he was working in the United States until the Dotcom Bubble burst at the turn of the millennium, meaning that he can be considered something of an old hand in the U.S. tech industry. In any case, Mathrubootham moved back to India after the Dotcom Bubble burst, which was quite a step down when it came to his earnings. He himself didn't mind much. In contrast, Mathrubootham's father was much more concerned, particularly since Mathrubootham was being compared with other members of the same cohort who were much more established at the time.

6. Got a Great Deal of Experience from Zoho Corporation

A lot of entrepreneurs start out by working in suitable companies to build up expertise and experience before striking out on their own when their chance comes. Mathrubootham is an excellent example because he gained much of the experience that he needed by working at Zoho Corporation. In short, said company is an Indian tech company that specializes in making web-based tools for businesses, with its online office suite being its best-known product.

7. Bet on Increasing Need for Customer Support

Customer support is always important. However, it is definitely something that can see surges of demand in certain times as well as for certain applications. Mathrubootham chose to start his own company with some of his co-workers because he believed that the increasing use of cloud computing meant that there would be increasing demand for customer support in ways that appealed to this growing segment. Judging by the results, he was right.

8. Focused On What Mattered

Mathrubootham got the support of a venture capitalist named Shekhar Kirani when he was still starting out because he showed that he was someone who focused on what mattered. As the story goes, Kirani visited the startup's office, where he saw six new computers to go along with old, mismatched furniture. Mathrubootham's company was focused on offering computer-based customer support, so it made sense for it to prioritize its most important revenue-earning assets while deprioritizing everything else.

9. Wanted Every Employee to Buy a BMW

Amusingly, when Mathrubootham tried to justify his decision to start his own company to his wife, he said that it wasn't because he wanted to buy himself a BMW. Instead, he wanted every one of his employees to buy a BMW. Suffice to say that a lot of Freshworks employees are now quite a bit richer because of the successful IPO.

10. Now a Millionaire Many Times Over

The exact numbers are unclear. However, Mathrubootham has done quite well himself. His company as a whole has a value of almost $13 billion. However, Mathrubootham's own share is enough that he is now believed to be worth approximately $700 million.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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