Born and raised in Calcutta, India, Mitul Gandhi was part of a family of jewelers. His parents owned a jewelry business and so did many other relatives.
"But I was the black sheep of the family," he joked.
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Instead of jewelry, he gravitated toward technology.
Since he was 12 and had his first computer, he was mesmerized. He loved everything about the computer, how it worked, the information, the Internet and, especially, the video games. It didn't matter that it required a modem for a dial-up connection, a dinosaur compared to today's speeds.
Now at 35, Gandhi takes that love of the computer much further. He is co-founder and chief architect of Des Plaines-based SeoClarity, which offers technology and analysis to help small and large companies alike get to the top of search engine lists. SEO means search engine optimization.
He and business partner, Kalpesh Guard of Indian Head Park, founded SeoClarity about nine years ago. They have since boosted the workforce to 50 and have worked with such heavyweights as Home Depot, Orbitz, Safeway, Zappos.com, Toys R Us and Grainger, among others. They hope to increase their client base and double the size of the workforce by next year, he said.
He attributes a lot of personal support to his wife, Nisha, who traveled a lot with him as they raise their two children.
He then pursued his MBA at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. While a student in 2001, Gandhi founded his first company, an online portal that helped foreign students settle in the United States and find services, credit cards, apartments, and other necessities. He later sold it.
He wanted to learn more about direct marketing and, in 2002, he landed a job at the Brandford Exchange in Niles and stayed about six years.
By 2004, he started consulting on the side.
"I couldn't do justice to both jobs, so I had to make a decision and I decided to jump ship," Gandhi said.
He and his business partner formed Actonia, an Internet marketing agency in Des Plaines. But the recession hit and some key clients went belly up.
"As long as you are consultants, you will be subjected to the changes n the economy," he said. "It was very unstable."
That's when he and his business partner decided to build out some technology, got more clients and moved ahead with a sister company that offers the search engine technology, SeoClarity.
"We make sure your company is on the top of the list during searches," he said. "There's definitely a science behind it."
And he has found his own gem.
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Advocating for chambers
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