From Studying Under a Tree to Billion-Dollar Success: Zscaler founder Jay Chaudhry's Story

In the entrepreneurship world, few stories are as compelling and inspirational as that of Jay Chaudhry. He is the CEO and founder of the cybersecurity firm Zscaler. His journey from a modest village to becoming one of the wealthiest person filled with perseverance, hard work, and unwavering vision.

Finding multibagger stocks is important for building wealth. Discover potential multibaggers at Sovrenn Discovery 

Early Days

Jay Chaudhry's story begins in the small village of Panoh in the Una district of Himachal Pradesh. He was the youngest of three sons of Bhagat and Surjeet Chaudhry. He was born into a farming family which had a very low income, Chaudhry's early life was marked by simplicity and hardship. 

His village had limited access to basic amenities; electricity was sporadic, and clean drinking water was a rare commodity in his place. Despite these challenges, Chaudhry's determination to learn never wavered. He often studied under the trees due to the lack of proper lighting at home.

Recalling his school days, Chaudhry says, He used to walk nearly 4 km every day to attend his high school at Dhusara, the neighbouring village.” This daily journey was not just a physical trek but a relentless pursuit of learning.


Chaudhry's brilliance and hard work paid for his academic endeavours. After excelling in school, he secured a seat at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Varanasi. There he completed his engineering degree. At the age of 20 years, Jay Chaudhry boarded an aeroplane for the first time in his life to study in the US. He pursued further studies and earned a master’s degree in engineering and management from the University of Cincinnati.

Jai chaudhry

Career and Entrepreneurial Risks

After completing his education, Chaudhry embarked on a career in the technology sector, He worked with industry giants such as IBM, Unisys, and IQ Software. His two decades of experience in these companies provided him with valuable insights and the confidence to venture into the entrepreneurial world.

Investing has built huge wealth for several HNI investors. Learn investing FREE OF CHARGE at Sovrenn Education 

Chaudhry and his wife, Jyoti left their jobs for their first venture. They used their all savings to launch his first startup Secure IT in 1996. This was followed by the creation of several other companies, including CoreHarbour, CipherTrust, and AirDefense. Each venture brought him closer to his ultimate vision of transforming cybersecurity.

Founding Zscaler

The turning point in Chaudhry's career came in 2008 when he founded Zscaler. With a mission to revolutionize internet security, Zscaler quickly became a leading name in the industry. The company’s innovative cloud security solutions attracted a vast client base, growing to serve more than 5,000 clients worldwide and over 2,600 people are employed in it.

Zscaler's success on the Nasdaq stock exchange, with a valuation of approximately $15 billion, is a testament to Chaudhry's foresight and leadership. 

Chaudhry’s entrepreneurial triumphs have earned him a place among the world's wealthiest individuals. As of 2020, he was ranked 85th on Forbes’ list of the 400 Richest People in America. In 2021, He was the 9th richest Indian according to Forbes, with a staggering net worth of approximately Rs 70,392 crore (about $5.9 billion).

Also Read: De Nora India Company Profile: Products, Promoters and Clients

Jay Chaudhry’s journey from a small village in Himachal Pradesh to the pinnacle of success in Silicon Valley is more than just a financial triumph; it is a beacon of hard work and inspiration.

Chaudhry says, “Success is not about where you start, but where you aim to reach.” His ability to overcome early life challenges, his dedication to continuous learning, and his relentless pursuit of innovation served as a powerful supporter. He has proved that with hard work and determination, one can overcome even the most daunting obstacles.

Also Read: Honest Home Company's founder Mayank Pratap Sisodia's Honesty Wins Hearts and Deal on Shark Tank India


Written By Manvi