PASSION TURNED VOCATION. This city lad recounts how he turned his love for the web into a vocation with lots of hard work and focus.
I am the head of consumer marketing at CARFAX Inc, headquartered in Washington, D.C.
MY CHANDIGARH CONNECT
I trace my roots to the city. My father, Chander Mohan Goyal, and mother, Renuka Goyal, got married in Chandigarh. My younger brother Karan and I were both born and raised there. Most of my extended family, friends, live in the city.
I started my kindergarten at First Step Montessori Panchkula before enrolling in St. Joseph for elementary/middle school, followed by Government Model Sector 16 from which I passed in 1998. I then went on to do graduation in Computer Applications from Punjab Technical University. Finally, at my father’s insistence, I joined Government College, Sector 11, to pursue MSc in Information Technology.
THE TURNING POINT
Believe it or not, I wanted to be a magician in high school. My parents didn’t fancy the idea, so they introduced me to computers through a family friend, Vivek Bansal. I spent countless hours every day for almost a year learning from him. Before I knew it, I was hooked to this thing called the World Wide Web.
MY SECRET SAUCE
The key to my professional success is years of relentless effort in the right direction. As someone famous once said: ‘I’m a great believer in luck, and the harder I work, the luckier I get.’ Together this passion, curiosity and devotion, combined with the support of my parent and wife, Deepika and our twin boys Vyaan and Vansh helped me navigate through this complicated maze of life to a great and fulfilling career. I also believe that “a happy wife is a happy life.”
AREA OF EXPERTISE
I started by building websites for clients all over the world in 1999. Within a few weeks, I stumbled upon the world of Search Engines. Very quickly, I pivoted into Search Engine Optimization. Remember, this is when Google was just launched. As Google evolved, I continued to learn with it. Fast forward 20 years, I drive digital marketing strategy for enterprises, with a deep focus, passion, and experience in search. Prior to CARFAX, which is where I have been since 2016, I drove digital marketing at several fortune 500 companies, including TripAdvisor, at their HQs in Boston, and Berkshire Hathaway’s Oriental Trading Company in Warren Buffet’s hometown, Omaha, N.E. The key was deep focus and specialization in an area which I was already passionate and curious about. That makes everything easy and fun instead of work.
WHAT I OWE TO CHANDIGARH
Where do I even start! I owe everything to Chandigarh. I am grateful to my parents for choosing Chandigarh as a home. Thanks to the doctors and nurses at PGI who took great care of this preemie baby. Last but not least, I owe a debt of gratitude to all my teachers for building a strong foundation.
I am also very thankful to the city’s infrastructure, especially the availability of Internet services in the last 1990s that allowed me to learn so much about the “Web.” I was also fortunate to be able to start a small business with my close friend, Summit Bahl, and my brother, Karan Goyal. A big thanks is due to my parents who not only supported me but also trusted me with the amount of time I spent online. Back in the day, the Internet was not widely available. My Internet surfing cost my parents an arm and a leg.
I also owe my beautiful, loving life partner, Deepika Goyal, to this city. Deepika and I first met when I was eight and she was six. As you can see, Chandigarh is where all the magic happened in my life.
THINGS I LIKE TO DO WHEN I VISIT CHANDIGARH
We like to drive by all the different places we lived in. After that, we eat, eat, and eat. Living outside India, we miss the midnight trips to Aroma for ice cream, a quick bite at Ovenfresh or Willow’s Café, breakfast at Backpackers and the yummy cakes from Monica’s.
HOW HAS THE CITY CHANGED?
Chandigarh and its surrounding cities have developed so much. I guess that’s progress, but Chandigarh was never designed to support so much population. Traffic is becoming an issue everywhere and so is parking. Section 17 used to be the heart of the city. Not anymore.
CHANGE I WANT TO SEE IN THE CITY
Chandigarh is considered one of the most well-planned cities of India. We are the capital of Punjab and Haryana. Both these states have tons of history and culture. We should all strive to maintain that heritage. We should ensure that our future generations have the same experiences in the city as we had. Does Chandigarh need a better public transportation system connecting the tri-city with neighbouring towns and extensions? Is our administration thinking about it? I hope so. Together, we should all strive to keep the city clean.
THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GOT
I gleaned it from Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford commencement speech. He said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So, keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
MY ADVICE TO YOUNGSTERS IN MY FIELD
Please don’t do what everybody is doing. Don’t go for the next shiny object. Follow your dream. Find your passion. The world needs your passion the most. One can learn and adapt to everything else very easily. Always keep learning. If we don’t’ learn and innovate, we become outdated quickly. We have a finite amount of time on this planet, find out what you want to accomplish in this lifetime.
*KEY TO SUCCESS – This 38-year-old took to the World Wide Web in Chandigarh when it was still in its infancy.