Say this for Sanmay Ved, the 29-year-old Internet celebrity who will graduate from Babson College with his MBA in May. He’s a go-getter who got the best of the giant search company but also was smart enough not to make a big stink of it.
Just last week Google conceded it paid Ved, a former Google employee no less, $6,006.13 to buy back it domain name google.com. Ved, originally from the small city of Mandvi in India, picked it up last September for just $12.
Within minutes of the transaction, during which his credit card was charged, he received a couple of emails from Google, including an order cancellation from Google Domains. It was on a whim that Ved was searching for Google.com in the wee small hours of one morning in September after 1 a.m. while getting to know the company’s Domains interface. That’s when he was as surprised as anyone to realize the domain name of one of the most successful company on the Internet was available.
THE MBA ASKED THE REWARD TO BE SENT TO THE ART OF LIVING INDIA FOUNDATION
Google Security soon contacted Ved, offering him what was then an undiscoved reward. “I wrote back and told them it was never about money, and asked that the money be donated to charity to the Art of Living India Foundation,” Ved wrote on a LinkedIn post. “They have replied and have stated that they understand and respect the fact that this was not about getting a reward. Despite that, given what they found, and how this was handled, they are ‘excited’ to offer me a reward.”
After all, Ved spent five and one-half years at Google where he worked in sales with large advertising clients in Australia and New Zealand. During that time, from 2007 until 2012, he won three promotions and consistently exceeded his sales targets. He clearly grew fond of the company when he worked for it. “I love Google to heart, and because I have always been a loyal Googler and Xoogler, reporting several vulnerabilities in the past which had gone unnoticed…”
After leaving Google, Ved followed his entrepreneurial instincts in founding his own e-commerce company, Ved Group. When he was in high school, he launched a video game business which he believes was India’s first ever online store to retail video game software. He began his MBA at Babson in 2014, doing a summer internship in Seattle with Amazon in its retail leadership development program.
GOOGLE SAYS IT DOUBLED THE REWARD TO HIS CHARITY
Despite being in Babson’s MBA program, Ved has been soaking up all the learning he possibly can, taking more than a dozen MOOC courses, including business and econ classes from Wharton, the University of Virginia, and UC-Irvine’s Merage School of Business.
He gave up Google.com without a fight, asking Google to send the money to the Art of Living’s education program which runs 404 free schools across 18 states of India, providing what Ved says is “free education to more than 39,200 children in the slum, tribal and rural belts where child labor and poverty are widespread. The schools nurture the complete child, including body, mind and spirit.”
In fact, Google said it doubled the reward to over $12,000 when it found that Ved wanted the cash given to the charity. “Our initial financial reward to Sanmay — $6,006.13 – spelled-out Google, numerically (squint a little and you’ll see it!,” the company wrote in a blog post Thursday. “We then doubled this amount when Sanmay donated his reward to charity.”