Return of the Hotmail Dude, again


Sabeer Bhatia, has been looking for lightening to strike twice. Ever since he sold Hotmail to Microsoft for $400 million, the second (and third and fourth) act have been less than lackluster. Some like Arzoo have been outright flops. But he still keeps trying, just like his countless and well reported efforts to woo lovelies like Ashwariya Rai, without much success. In an interview with Asia Inc, he admitted , “the biggest hurdle in his career today is making another company as successful as Hotmail.”

Now there is word coming from India that he is contemplating a grid-computing based drug discovery company, and he is doing it with over-the-top marketing that is surely going to create buzz, if not business.

> ‘‘It requires immense intellectual capital, with a farm of 5,000 PCs as the infrastructure,’’ Sabeer said. PhDs in molecular biology would then work on its synthesis in a ‘‘wet lab”. Codenamed Verseon, Sabeer considers it to be a next generation technological breakthrough.

Looks like he is over selling. A recent report by The 451 Group shows that the early adopters of grid computing technology included Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. DataSynapse, United Devices and Parabon Computing offer such services, and some count Indian drug companies like Dr. Reddy as customers.

Even as he chases his big drug discovery dream, Bhatia is also looking at more down-to-earth opportunities such as web-based support for personal computers, thanks to another one of his start-ups, InstaColl. Like I said, whatever it takes to make the damn lightening strike twice!


Jesse Kopelman

People and their priorities. If were a multimillionare I would stick to the pursuit of hot chicks instead of more money.

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