It was 1995. The Internet was new on the horizon and very new to Inder. He was visiting a friend of his, a doctor at his clinic, and his friend teased, “We should call you Indernet!” Inder didn’t get the joke until his friend showed him the Internet on the computer and explained what domain names were. Inder was immediately intrigued and registered his name, his kids’ names and before he knew it - he had registered over 600 domain names.
Using the momentum and enthusiasm he gained from his newfound knowledge about the power of the Internet and domain names, Inder searched for Hotel.com. He was already servicing the hotel industry, so it made sense to him to combine these things into a business opportunity. The domain name was not available, but Inder didn’t stop there. He contacted the owner, made an offer he couldn’t refuse and Hotel.com was born.
He began with a simple website without the booking engine to see what kind of visitors he could attract. Once he learned the habits of his buyers, he had a simple booking engine built and started booking hotels. Traffic and revenue continued to increase. He was already one of the founders of the Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association (AAHOA) and began to approach them about building a booking engine for them. His vision of building the largest booking engine for the world’s hotels was so new, it was repeatedly underestimated and dismissed. After three frustrating years of lobbying for his vision, he sold Hotel.com to Expedia.
After Inder sold Hotel.com, he had enough money to take a break. He worked on philanthropy projects in India, learned to play golf, spent time with his kids, and traveled. But after 4 years of the semi-retirement life, Inder grew bored and founded a new company.