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2014 Forty Under 40: Aman Brar

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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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.”•

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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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