Modelry - A Random Walk through Internet Real Estate: An Interview With Activerain CEO Nikesh Parekh (Niki)

An Interview With Activerain CEO Nikesh Parekh (Niki)

Hi Everyone,

Check out my interview with Greg Nino.  I called Greg last night on my way home.  Of course, Greg was out having a few beers with his brother celebrating a Maverick win.  He told me that people really want to and need to know who I am.  So he interviewed me.  I thank Greg for taking it easy on me for my first interview in "The Cave." 

I think you all now know officially know more about me than my kids.  If my elder daughter starts calling me BubbleGum Butt, I know who to call.....  That's you Greg.


Wouldn't it be nice to get to know a little more about new AR CEO Nikesh Parekh? Anytime a company has new direction, management and oversight people, including me, tend to ask questions, become concerned and even uncomfortable. Change is inevitable and AR is a business.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to be understood, welcomed and heard. Yesterday evening Niki gave me a rang and discussed some of his thoughts about how he hopes to make Activerain a better place as the days and months pass.

My suggestion to him was to allow the members of AR to get to know who he is. Niki welcomed the idea and went as far to suggest I give him a list of questions that he'd gladly answer. So here we go...



1.  Did you cry when you saw the movie E.T.? Do you believe extraterrestrials have visited our planet?

"No.  I was 9 years old in 1982 when ET came out.  I was more scared than anything else (not cool for a 9 year old boy to admit).  The scenes with government infiltrating Elliot's house to kidnap ET haunt me today.
I do believe in extraterrestrials.  The universe is too big and too amazing for other life not to exist.  Did they visit our planet?  I like to think so.  Believing in the impossible makes life a lot more interesting."

2. What scares you?
"Falling.  I had a really bad dream when I was little about an infinite fall (like falling into a black hole).  I still remember the dream pretty vividly." 

3. What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever witnessed?

"Here's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: When I was ten, I played left field for my Little League baseball team in Pittsfield, MA.  Imagine our uniforms: bright red Tank Shop uniforms, bleached white pants, red stirrups, black Mizuno cleats - I was stylish.  We headed into the dug-out.  I took my seat on the bench.  Little did I know, the previous team had left a humungous wad of Big League Chew bubble gum on the bench.   I sat right in it.  It wouldn't come off.  It was our turn to take the field.  I had to go out to left field with this massive wad of bubblegum spread across my butt.  I was right next to the fan bleachers.  A bunch of "fans" yelled out to me, "Hey Now Bubblegum Butt!"   I lived through the game, but it was painful."   

4. Do you eat fast food? If so, what's your favorite?

"Absolutely.  I am vegetarian.  My wife, kids, and I love Taco Bell.  Three soft tacos, beans no meat, fresco style.  The best $3 meal on the planet."

5. Have you ever been in a fist fight?

"Yes.  I was cub scout and an rabid fan of professional wrestling when I was growing up (Jimmy Superfly Snuka, anyone?) We got into lots of fights. Boys will be boys. 
Since I just told you one embarrassing story, here is another one related to fighting.  When I was in kindergarten at Williams School in Pittsfield, MA, I was picked on and beaten up by two bullies who were twin girls in like second or third grade.  I am not sure why this sticks out in my mind."

6. If you could pick one sport to be a stud at, which would it be and why?

"Sport I currently play: Volleyball.  I love volleyball have played pretty competitively (back in the day). 
Sport I wished I played: Jai alai  Why?  I am not exactly sure.  It seems like fast and semi-dangerous sport.  I am more thinking about the bar conversations when you tell people you are professional Jai alai player.  I bet that never gets old."

7. You've heard about Activerain addiction. Can you see yourself becoming an addict as well?

"You should ask my wife.  It's 11pm and I am still on ActiveRain.  Have you seen your husband recently?  My wife and I generally have our laptops out and the TV on (We love television and have no problem admitting it.  Don't tell our kids).  She has been amused or befuddled by the amount of time I am spending on ActiveRain in the community either blogging, draft blogging, commenting, or talking to her about other people's comments.   We are always toting a digital camera, since we have kids.  Recently, I have started taking random pictures and videos, because "they will look good on my blog."  Someday.  I don't know how many others on ActiveRain have a folder of full of pictures that are just waiting for a blog to accompany them."

8. Besides work & family what are you most passionate about?

"Again, this may sound odd.  I am very active with my college fraternity Sigma Chi.  Other than my wife and kids, many of the great things in my life have been somehow related to the friendships I have developed through my college fraternity.  Advice from my fraternity brothers encouraged me to go to India after college to work in urban slums and try to save the world.  My first jobs and adventures in Seattle came from fraternity referral.  My fraternity brothers coached me on my business school applications.  Some of my most memorable trips around the world have been with my fraternity brothers (remind me to tell you about the great jewelry con in Jaipur over beers in Dallas).  I am on the alumni board and house corporation for our fraternity.  My goal is to just give back a little bit to the organization which has meant so much and given so much to me." 


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Nikesh Parekh

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Comment balloon 11 commentsNikesh Parekh • May 12 2011 03:52PM


You make me giggle Niki.  That's a good thing.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 9 years ago

Sorry, I think Greg was abducted and is being held by aliens...But I'll still say, the 70's costume might get me to buy a plane ticket! 

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 9 years ago

Greg's out looking for his Birth Cerificate or maybe that is Jeremy Blanton.


Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

Shhhh, you're more interesting when you're not a real person. 

Sigma Chi, huh? I'm going to go look for my little sister pin.



Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 9 years ago

Interesting stuff ! Have a great time in the Big D !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 9 years ago

Can't believe these were the questions to ask the new CEO. Sounds like the interviewer is from Mars and AR is the most distant planet in the Universe.

Why would any of that be of interest is beyond me.

Sounds like the most PC interview

Niki, can someone else interview you? We might also be interestede in knowing a tiny little bit about AR. Not all of us from Mars...

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 9 years ago

Bring it on Jon!  You know where to find me.  Send me an email with your questions.  I am still learning and figuring out everything on AR, so be gentle :)

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Thank you, I will.

And believe me, I will be nice, because it is not about me and it is about you for as long as you and AR are now bundled.

It is about AR, so while I do not see much relevance of volleyball in this regard, I sure would be interested in more relevant issues (in my opinion).

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 9 years ago

Nikesh - Nice to meet you. In a weird way but it is Greg, what do you expect.

Posted by Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified (Dilbeck Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi Nikesh - I enjoyed reading your interview with Greg.  Greg's interviewing style of CEOs is quite different than many people.  It is a great way to learn more about you from a non-business viewpoint.  I see that you are being transformed into an ActiveRain blogger based on your response in question 7.  As you do more blogging, you will gain a great understanding of some of the issues that active bloggers encounter.

Posted by FN LN over 9 years ago

Hi Niki,

Just wanted to stop by and say welcome to AR.  I enjoyed your interview and look forward to getting to know you better.  I wish you an abundance of success here in the RAIN and I am sure you will be a great asset to ACTIVERAIN as you move forward!

Posted by Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager (Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging) over 9 years ago