Morning Stars | Sabeer Bhatia: ‘People should look into basic computer science, AI, and machine learning courses’

Morning Stars | Sabeer Bhatia: ‘People should look into basic computer science, AI, and machine learning courses’

Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia follows intermediate fasting - he wakes up at 6 but doesn't eat till 10 am. He also swims and plays tennis and golf over the weekends.

Note to readers: Morning Stars is a series of interviews with achievers across fields about their morning routine and how they get ready for the day ahead. Mornings bring optimism and a fresh start. And how we spend them sets the tone for the day.

Sabeer Bhatia’s latest venture, ShowReel, is mainly targeted towards jobseekers. The app enables a user to have a video conversation with Bhatia, the renowned co-founder of Hotmail. Bhatia asks simple questions to the person, so that that their qualifications and a bit of their personality come through. The user can then send this video with their job application or post it on different platforms.

In this interaction, we do the asking. We ask Sabeer Bhatia, the 53-year-old BITS Pilani and Stanford alumnus who did with Hotmail for Indian IT what Kapil Dev did for Indian cricket with World Cup 1983, about how he starts his day, and his tips for success.

Where are you currently? What do you see around you as you speak?

Morning Stars | Sabeer Bhatia: ‘People should look into basic computer science, AI, and machine learning courses’

I am currently working from my office, which is part of my home in Los Altos Hills, California. I can see a waterfall and a lot of plants and trees from my window.


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In hard times such as now, with the pandemic and uncertainty, how do you motivate yourself to get out of bed and get going?

Motivation has never been a problem for me. I just treat each day as a gift to be lived to the fullest, and hope I do as much as I can to make the world a better place.

What time do you usually get up?

I get up at around 6 am every day. The first thing I do is have a glass of water, followed by a cup of coffee. I then take my dog for a morning walk in the hills.

What do you like to see on the breakfast table?

I don't eat any breakfast until 10 am as I follow intermittent fasting. I usually eat a croissant or a cup of cereal.

What do you remember of the mornings when you were building Hotmail?

Those were my younger days. I used to run 10 km every day and work towards building my company.

What would mornings be like during school/college days? Can you share a funny anecdote?

I loved to wake up in the mornings at BITS Pilani. I would see peacocks and all kinds of different birds. I was one of the few who would wake up early on campus at that time.

What is your favourite thing to do on weekend mornings?

On the weekends I love to spend time with my family and take my kids to the park. I also enjoy playing a round of tennis, swimming and playing golf.

What is your preferred way of getting news – phone, computer or newspaper?

I mostly consume the news through my phone and sometimes through the computer. Funnily enough, I haven't seen a newspaper in the US, I come across one only when I’m in India.

Which famous stranger would you like to have breakfast with and why?

I would like to have breakfast with Jeff Bezos and talk about the things we share, like our immense love for technology.

What are your app/study/workplace essentials?

I use an iPhone as my daily driver and I usually work on my laptop in my office. My workplace essentials are desk, printer, scanner, desktop computer, etc.

Three pieces of advice you would give to help someone succeed in a job/ someone changing jobs/someone tackling adversity at the workplace?

If one works hard, has humility, and is honest, then they can achieve anything in this world.

What upskilling course would you recommend people spend on?

I think people should look into basic computer science, AI, and machine learning courses because they are the future and whosoever will have these skills will be worth a lot in the future.