3 min. read…If you’ve had the pleasure of participating in one of Dr. Abraham’s workshops, you’d probably think this warm, humble, unassuming man is someone you’d love to spend an afternoon with because the conversation just flows. And with the conversation, comes information … and a lot of it: like water from a firehose. It’s powerful stuff. But it’s guidance from a friend. A friend whose “airs” are all about what he can give you. Abraham kicked back one afternoon in a pink, slightly rumpled Vineyard Vines polo at ID to talk about his background, his philosophies and what he hopes to gain at ID as a mentor, investor and teacher.
With several advanced degrees, including an MBA and PhD in computer science (with a specialty in artificial intelligence) from DePaul University, Abraham has the bona fides to sit in board rooms, pulling down six figures, just for what he knows. He does a little of that, but mostly he’s looking to find, nurture and help the next entrepreneur get to the level of boardroom with him.
A Deep Background in Business and Digital Marketing
As a serial founder (currently he’s involved with six companies in some capacity, including his latest launch Deepint Marketing) with global experience, Abraham has the ability to advise and mentor, as well as teach, pretty much any company in any industry. As long as they are interested in growing their business, rapidly scaling and using digital marketing in the most efficient and economical way possible. And who isn’t?
Thinking of Salesforce for your CRM? It’s great, but expensive, he said. You might want to try Insightly instead. Being pitched by Marketo? Save the $800/month and let Mailchimp be your go to, for now. His favorite saying, “Try the free versions first until you outgrow them and then switch to what you can afford. There’s more than one way to market online!”
So you want to advertise on Facebook? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Abraham is the Developers Circle (DevC) Lead for Facebook in a 10-state region, he said. He is preparing to host a Facebook-sponsored hackathon this fall in Chicago. (Watch the ID Events page for more details and how to get in on the action). He’s also hosting a Facebook Meet Up Launch at Innovation DuPage on September 14. Click here to register. And, he’s hosting semi-weekly sessions on digital marketing at Innovation DuPage that anyone can attend. You just need to register through the Meetup app (find the links at the Innovation DuPage events page).
Abraham also has a strong belief in the power of education. Having spent a lot of time in college, he fully recognizes the challenge that new graduates face when it comes time to find their job. He is a part of the leadership team at Quze, another Innovation DuPage member, to bridge the skills gap that new graduates, or those looking to make a career transition, face.
Abraham came to the U.S. at the age of five with his parents and siblings. Stressing education as paramount, his parents settled in the Chicago suburbs to give the kids a better shot at success than they might have had in their native India. The strategy worked as both siblings completed medical school, one sibling is now a practicing neurologist with an MD and the other is a medical administrator. But Abraham wanted to go into business, not medicine like his siblings. He put himself through school, working hard and taking full advantage of the U.S. educational system: First at College of DuPage, then Elmhurst College (both schools are ID Partners) and finally earning his graduate degrees at DePaul.
The purpose of wealth and working hard has very little to do with enriching yourself, but rather it should be used to give to others
-Dr. Sanju Abraham
He said he grew up poor, but losing a dear friend in high school taught him a life lesson about giving back that has stuck with him. He said his life’s philosophy is to build up others around him. “The purpose of wealth and working hard has very little to do with enriching yourself, but rather it should be used to give to others. This is in line with the teachings of all the major religions. You give and you feel better, you feel happier. Giving could be time, knowledge, money and for the sake of doing it,” he said.
During our chat, Abraham admitted he’s had many failures over the years. “I’ve failed a lot! But I learned from each and every one,” he said. “One thing I’ve learned the hard way is to find the right partners when going into business. If you can partner with the person who is going to push you, motivate you and challenge you, then you’ve got a good partner. But you must talk to the right people. Not your parents, not your spouse and not your friends.”
A Passion and a Purpose
“I want to help people find their passion. If I can help a cupcake shop owner make more cupcakes because they are passionate about cupcake baking, then that’s what I want to do,” he said. “I’m in the business of helping people realize their dreams.”
Abraham offers to schedule an appointment with anyone who wants to meet with him for no charge. As a business consultant and coach, he is that guy who pushes, prods, and challenges. But he does it in just the right way. “I’m not any smarter than anyone else,” he said, “But I’ve had experiences I can share so others don’t have to make the same mistakes I’ve made.”
He’s had success too. Plenty of them. His biggest success is “having the luxury of time to help others succeed.” Having income streams from several companies with which he’s involved pays the bills. But the biggest success is what keeps him up at night: Absolutely nothing. “I sleep like a baby,” he said.
Working with mentors like Dr. Abraham at Innovation DuPage, ID Members and people from the general public who want to sign up for his classes at ID, are hopefully going to also live their dreams and give back to their communities, families and others as he has done. And with tips and intel from Abraham, hopefully those companies incubating and accelerating in Glen Ellyn are going to scale rapidly, enjoy success and make the world a better place. That would be Dr. Abraham’s dream come true.