Continues to lead DCKAP and experiments.
Starts experimenting with YouTube, sharing insights on businesses, places, people, language and things he cares about.
Leverages the COVID Pandemic and uses it as an opportunity to grow.
Reads - The Only Investment Guide you'll ever need , Andrew Tobias , Starts focussing on Personal Finance.
Reads How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosernberg - Starts focussing on Company Culture
Starts his blog - KarthikChidambaram.com
Goes into business and personal debt. Learning about Business Finance & saving the hard way.
Though the company was making money, fails to leverage the financial crises to his advantage and makes a lot of mistakes
Moved to the Bay Area, California, to leverage the opportunities in Silicon Valley.
Reads, Straight from the Gut, by Jack Welsh- Founded DCKAP, starting the company from a small apartment in Chicago.
Attends Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
Gets his US Visa to pursue Master's in the United States
Attends Government College of Technology, (GCT) Coimbatore
Attends Don Bosco, Egmore in Chennai
Attended Pre-K at Holy Trinity , Chennai
Karthik Chidambaram is born in Chennai, India
Thank you for reading my blog. I was born and raised in Chennai, India. Growing up, I have bullied people and have also been bullied. I firmly believe that 'What you give is what you get'. I am very thankful for a great childhood. My parents sowed the seeds of being honest and working hard. Growing up, I was encouraged to try different things. Though I was not great at everything I did, I always tried.
Tamil is my mother tongue. During my school years, my Dad sat with me and taught me the language. I enjoyed reading and writing Tamil. Being my mother tongue, I did well in elocution, writing and more, and won several prizes. However, after my 12th grade, I did not focus much on language. There were no big needs for me to keep learning which was a mistake.
I used to take part in debating, elocution, writing, sports, and every other competition you could think of. There have been plenty of times when I ended up not getting a prize (and I have won quite a few too). Growing up in school, I always wanted to be in a class or on a team that had less competition.
2001 was not a great year to graduate. There was a dot com bubble and no hiring across the board. Though I had a campus placement from college, the company that ended up hiring me did not call me to join. I decided the best thing to do was to pursue my Master’s in the US. Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago was the only University I applied to and was pleasantly surprised to receive an admittance and an I-20 to travel. The time was short, and those days we had to stay in line overnight at the Chennai US Consulate, but I somehow got in. I was very thankful to the person who granted me the US Visa at the counter. I did not expect this, and cried. Within the next couple of days, I left for the US and ended up in Chicago, IL.
My first year in the US was one of the best experiences of my life. I worked very hard and was very aggressive. Though I was in a private school, I was one of the very few students who got a full scholarship. I had a Teaching Assistantship, Research Assistantship and also a Graduate Assistantship, and I had one of the best jobs in college.
In addition to having scholarships, I was also doing a lot of other work as a student. I was looking for a summer job and a Professor introduced me to several companies. I made connections and made quite a lot of money as a student. I also hired other students who were looking for work. They helped me get the job done. Around this time, I was very fortunate to read ‘Straight from the Gut’ by Jack Welch. This not only helped me answer questions during job interviews, it also helped me start DCKAP. In 2005, DCKAP was born.
The Bay Area being known as Silicon Valley, I thought it would be great for business and decided to move there. I moved to the Bay area in 2006. The initial few years were great. This is the period I was focused on company growth. However, I failed to capitalize on the initial momentum. I did all kinds of crazy things. This is also the time period I did not read a lot. Though I had aspirations, I was not focused enough and this also showed (though I did not realize at that time period).
I was very bad at finances and never had the habit of saving money. This caused a lot of trouble and around 2013 or so, DCKAP faced a lot of trouble. There were a lot of bills to pay and no revenue coming in. This was one of the most challenging times of my career. (if I look back, it was one of the best). I was in a lot of debt and it took me 5 years to get out of it. I had to go back to the basics. This is the time I started focusing on reading again. One of the books I read, ‘How Google Works’ by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, helped get the company back on track. I learned more about company culture and started focusing on it.
DCKAP was running for over 10 years or so, and though we made quite a bit of money and lost even more than we made, we slowly started bringing the business back on track. I thought everything was going well. On Gates’ blog, ‘GatesNotes’, I saw that Bill Gates had recommended a finance book - ‘The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need’. I have tried to read finance books in the past. However, I failed to understand. Bill said it was a simple book. I thought, ‘Ok, Bill Gates is saying that, so let me read it.’ I was very skeptical and I was also afraid that I would not understand everything. However, the timing was perfect. Once I started reading the first chapter or so, I got scared. Though the business was getting back on track, I realized that in 10+ years of running the business, it began to hit me hard that I did not save anything for myself personally. I didn't even have term insurance for myself. What if something happened to me? One of the very first things I did after reading the book was get a term insurance and pretty much started practicing a lot of what was written in the book.
There are a few things that I believe in. Experiments is one of
them. You will never know what will work and what will not
unless you try, and one of the best ways to test is to run an
experiment. I also believe in long term thinking. Some of these
things take time and it cannot be changed overnight. Persistence
is the key. Reading is important for one's growth. Readers are
I also started experimenting with YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@chatwithKC
It is not one or the other, it is everything together.
Thank you for reading.