IBJNews

2014 Forty Under 40: Aman Brar

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
brar_aman_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Game on: “I was one of those kids who was lucky enough to have the Commodore 64,” Brar said. “I was always enchanted by technology.”

West-case scenario: After graduating from Wabash College—where he played football and studied economics and religion—Brar moved to Silicon Valley. But after a series of jobs, he yearned to return. He applied to graduate schools elsewhere, but couldn’t refute his wife’s logic: “If the goal is to get back to Indiana,” she asked, “how is going to a different state furthering that goal?” Solution: Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “Outside of my marriage,” Brar said, “being a part of the tech story here in Indiana was the best decision of my life.”

Keeping up with Joneses: While in business school, Brar was asked to TA an entrepreneurship class taught by voicemail/ChaCha guru Scott Jones. Flash forward: After stints with Eli Lilly and Co. and Guidant Corp., Brar was hired by Jones and became vice president of business development for ChaCha. In 2009, he left for IT firm Apparatus, which he has helped grow from 40 to 160 employees and from $7 million to $25 million in revenue. This year involves closing deals on both coasts for the expanding company and business dealings as far away as Singapore.

Mentors: Brar credits his high school football coach with helping shape him. “He taught me to do the right thing when no one’s watching and to slog through with the wind in your face.”

AGE 36
Hometown: Hayward, Calif.

Family: wife, Susan; son, Navraj, 4

Extracurriculars: Brar serves on the boards of the Kelley School Board of Visitors (his “stepping stone back into the Indiana economy”) and the YMCA (“It’s in a unique position to help Indy become a healthier and more productive city”). Traveling and camping are high on the Brar to-do list, whether global (including trips to Africa and India) or local. “Take a 4-year-old to Shades State Park and he thinks he’s at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.”

Attracting talent: Brar is an outspoken opponent of the effort to define marriage in Indiana. “People want to be associated with progressive places. Indiana does a lot of things well. But it’s like being an offensive tackle. You don’t get credit for 99 percent of the blocks but you lose credit when you miss one. Things like the gay marriage debate are like giving up a sack.”•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  2. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  3. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  4. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

  5. I live downtown Indy and had to be in downtown Chicago for a meeting. In other words, I am the target demographic for this train. It leaves at 6:00-- early but doable. Then I saw it takes 5+ hours. No way. I drove. I'm sure I paid 3 to 5 times as much once you factor in gas, parking, and tolls, but it was reimbursed so not a factor for me. Any business traveler is going to take the option that gets there quickly and reliably... and leisure travelers are going to take the option that has a good schedule and promotional prices (i.e., Megabus). Indy to Chicago is the right distance (too short to fly but takes several hours to drive) that this train could be extremely successful even without subsidies, if they could figure out how to have several frequencies (at least 3x/day) and make the trip in a reasonable amount of time. For those who have never lived on the east coast-- Amtrak is the #1 choice for NY-DC and NY-Boston. They have the Acela service, it runs almost every hour, and it takes you from downtown to downtown. It beats driving and flying hands down. It is too bad that we cannot build something like this in the midwest, at least to connect the bigger cities.

ADVERTISEMENT