Manuj Aggarwal

From $2/day to boardrooms of the Fortune 500. Read my story

I grew up in a small town in India. A friendly child, my home was troubled. I withdrew into my shell, becoming aloof and angry. At age 15, I started working in a factory where I labored 12 hours/day with only $2 as a daily salary.


LAST CHANCE BLOWN

Reading business magazines in the factory corner, a dream was born. Could I improve my life? Feeling certain I was destined for freedom, for a 15-year old - it seemed like a pipe dream. Education was the only way out. My friends left for college, but I couldn’t afford to pay. Had I blown my last chance?


A YEAR’S SALARY

In 1995, a new computer institute threw its doors open in our town. Tuition was greater than a year’s salary, but I scraped together funds for the first class where I found my passion: programming. I met my wife there and we fell madly in love. Our marriage was disapproved of! Ultimately I had to run away from home with only a suitcase full of clothes. After our marriage, we traveled to Canada and started a new life.


THE NEW LIFE

I had no contacts or resources, but I was determined to improve my life. I realized education and the right training was the only way for me to achieve my goals.

Somehow I managed to acquire modest education.

From there I went on to become a technical leader and CTO in multiple startups.

All this happened because of education and training. So I am very passionate about learning and sharing knowledge.


I favor pragmatic solutions over complex ones.

I favor scrappiness over lavishness.

I favor fast execution over endless deliberation.

I favor serving the CUSTOMER over my own desires to build something cool.

I favor bending the rules (without breaking them) over abiding by them.

I believe in the resiliency and adaptability of the human race, and I know we can overcome any challenge if we work together.