Life Story

The Early Years

Naveen Jain was born in 1959 in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The son of a civil engineer, Naveen Jain did not grow up in affluence. As a child and young man, he witnessed firsthand the dire effects of poverty and illiteracy, especially upon women and children. His parents instilled him the importance of education as a key to improving one’s life. Jain vowed one day that he put himself in a position to help his fellow Indians, as well as anyone who is held back by lack of education, sexism, and grinding poverty. Naveen was also inspired by the self-made success of businesspeople such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Through their example, he  understood that success is simply not doled out; it must be earned through hard work, persistence, educational commitment, and even a little good luck and timing. Indeed, Naveen personifies the old adage “You make your own luck.”

With his parents’ encouragement and support, Naveen Jain finished his engineering degree from the renowned Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee (in the state of Uttarakhand) in 1979. He continued his education at the XLRI Jamshedpur School of Management (in the state of Bihar), earning a M.B.A in 1982. These two degrees became crucial in Naveen Jain’s next step in his career.

Naveen Jain Server RoomIn 1983, Burroughs accepted Naveen Jain for a business exchange program in New Jersey. In 1989, Naveen got his first big break when Microsoft hired him for a managerial position. As a senior executive, he had the opportunity to work alongside his business hero, Bill Gates. Naveen Jain worked on several crucial projects at Microsoft, including the OS/2, Windows NT, and Windows 95 operating systems. Naveen was also part of the management team that launched the Microsoft Network.

An Entrepreneurial Life

But success at Microsoft was not enough for
Naveen Jain. As he famously once said in an interview, Naveen got “tired of making billions for Bill.” In 1996, Jain struck out on his own, founding his first company, InfoSpace. Launched with a small amount of capital, InfoSpace concentrated on providing content to major websites. Within two years, InfoSpace was listed on NASDAQ and had made 24 acquisitions. By 2000, InfoSpace was declared “the most successful company you never heard of,” and Naveen Jain’s personal worth hit $2.2 billion.

Naveen JainNaveen Jain left InfoSpace in 2002, going on to launch Intelius, later known as inome, the following year.  inome is the world’s first Information Genome. inome seeks to organize the world’s information and make it person-centric – essentially assign every bit of information about a person to the unique person just like their genome. inome has flourished under Naveen’s leadership, and has become a major player in the competitive world of information services.

When Naveen Jain is not in his inome office in Bellevue, he keeps busy with a wide range of hobbies, including coin collecting, supporting local museums (such as the Seattle Art Museum), wine appreciation, and following the progress of space exploration. In fact, Naveen Jain is a passionate supporter of space exploration and commercialization. For Naveen, the technological and entrepreneurial potential of outer space is literally limitless. He joined a panel at the Churchill Club in 2010 to discuss this very topic with several fellow visionaries in the world of space commercialization, including the CEO of the X Prize Foundation.

Proud Son of India

Naveen Jain has never forgotten his roots, and he continues to closely follow the fortunes of his home country. In 2009, Jain spoke at the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Economic, Business and Development Conference in New York City. GOPIO was founded to promote the general well being of Indians and enhance networking between Indians around the world. Jain spoke on the topic of the Indian Diaspora in the Emerging Global Economy. He is also an active supporter of the Vedic Cultural Center, located in Sammamish, WA. The Vedic Cultural Center which promotes awareness of Indian culture, religion, and ahisma, the Hindu concept of non-violence. Intelius sponsored a special exhibit of Indian art entitled “Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur” at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The three-month show showcased 58 exceptional artworks created for Rajasthan nobles from the 17th and 19th centuries. Naveen Jain also actively supports Pratham, a nonprofit promoting literacy in India, and CRY India, a children’s rights advocacy group working to help Indian children mired in poverty.

Hard Work and Passion

Naveen Jain Smart BrowserThroughout his career, Naveen’s relentless drive and ambition has driven him to success. A man not afraid of hard work, Naveen Jain is known to put in 18-hour workdays. He even continues working on his vacation, much to the chagrin and amusement of his wife and three children. Naveen Jain has been recognized in his field as a rising star in the IT world. Red Herring selected him as one of the Top 20 Entrepreneurs. Naveen Jain was also awarded the Albert Einstein Technology Medal and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2007. Naveen Jain is currently serving as the CEO of inome.

Most importantly, Naveen Jain never forgot where he came from. Naveen and his wife Anu are involved in a wide range of philanthropic activities to benefit the disadvantaged, especially women and children. Though he has reached the pinnacle of success, it is his community work where Naveen finds the most fulfillment.

Education

  • XLRI Jamshedpur M.B.A., 1980 — 1982
  • Indian Institute of Technology, BS Engineering, 1975 — 1979

Honors & Awards

  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Albert Einstein Technology Medal Winner
  • Top 20 Entrepreneurs (Red Herring)
  • 6 People Who Will Change the Net (Information Week)
  • American Business Award Best New Company (Intelius/inome)
  • WSA Industry Achievement Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Red Herring

Giving Back to the Community

For the Jain family, there is far more to life than merely running a successful business. That is why Naveen Jain and Anu Jain have dedicated themselves to funding and promoting a wide variety of causes that give struggling children and their families a fighting chance at success and an improved quality of life. Naveen Jain and Anu Jain are proud to be involved in the following charitable causes and nonprofit organizations:

  • Naveen Jain and Anu Jain launched a scholarship for Computer Science and Computer Engineering freshman at the University of Washington. Students who have satisfied the academic and financial standards of the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid are eligible for this scholarship.
  • Naveen Jain and Anu Jain sponsored Uphaar 2008, an annual dinner for the benefit of CRY America Action Center. Child Rights and You (CRY) America Action Center is a leading advocate for abused, neglected, and under-educated children. CRY America is an affiliate of the nonprofit organization CRY, a group aiding underprivileged children in India. The dinner raised $155,000 for this urgent cause. Naveen was also involved in the success of Uphaar 2004, helping to raise more than $140,000 in that year.
  • The United Way of King County (UWKC) has also benefited from Naveen and Anu Jain’s generosity. Their donor level for the UWKC’s Community Safety Net Fund from 2005 to 2007 was between $25,000 to $49,999, giving them Advocates status. The Community Safety Net Fund forms partnerships with health and human services agencies addressing critical community needs.
  • Naveen and Anu Jain are among the list of 2006-2007 Alexis de Tocqueville Society Ambassadors for contributions totaling at least $10,000. The Society’s aim is to deepen individual understanding of, commitment to, and support of United Way’s work and recognizing local philanthropic leaders and volunteer champions around the world who have devoted time, talent, and funds to create long-lasting change.
  • In an effort to reach out to the East Indian community in Washington State, Naveen Jain has contributed $100,000 to the Vedic Cultural Center, a community service of the nonprofit organization International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The Vedic Community Center provides facilities for various programs including festivals, seminars, cultural events, concerts, guest speakers, and exhibitions promoting the Vedic culture. Naveen Jain’s contributions went toward the construction of the Center’s 12,000 square foot facility in Sammamish, Washington.

Naveen Jain has made significant contributions to many other causes:

Through inome’s Employee Giving Program and Employee Volunteer Program, Naveen Jain has been able to greatly increase contributions to these worthy causes. “We are so fortunate to have so many employees who are passionate not only about the company, but about taking an active role in improving the community and world around them,” according to Naveen Jain. “It’s inspiring and contagious and in turn the company strives to make every effort to support and fuel this enthusiasm.” The inome Employee Giving Program matches employee cash contributions to eligible charitable organizations. The inome Employee Volunteer Program encourage Intelius employees to become actively involved in charitable organizations by providing up to 12 hours of paid time off annually for time they spend volunteering with eligible charities.