Pratik Thakker is Israel’s Tech Ambassador to India. He is passionate about technology and has great insights as to how Israel and India can collaborate on addressing common challenges.
In this interview, we talk about Pratik’s journey and his passion for tech, why he moved to Israel, what he thinks of the similarities between Israel and India, what he has learned from his work as an ambassador, how technology could help address common challenges such as environmental protection and much more!
What does it mean to be “Israel’s tech ambassador to India”?
When I moved to Israel, I was working full-time as a digital marketing professional and parallelly hustling on the side to build my business and personal brand on LinkedIn.
One of my startup clients which I consulted for PPC, requested if I could help them with sales development in India as they found it challenging to get the results.
I immediately said yes, and started the project, and that’s how Webzoly was founded.
Being Indian, living and working in Israel’s startup and tech scene, I saw an opportunity to promote amazing Israeli tech products to one of the biggest markets, India.
India and Israel’s friendship is deeper than ever before…
Trade between the two nations extended beyond defense to agriculture and now technology.
I think that India has the edge over China in being a stable democracy. On top of it, a large number of people speak English and are technically qualified, which attracts Israel’s tech companies to do business in India.
So I founded Webzoly and started helping companies grow in India with sales, marketing, partnerships, and outsourcing.
When did you begin to become interested in entrepreneurship and the world of tech?
As a kid, I sold firecrackers and pickles, which enabled me to self-fund clothes and toys. I got into college but was only keen on learning new skills rather than formal education, which never excited me. As a hustler, I started working as a part-time salesman in the garments market as I wanted to master the art of selling.
Numbers excited me, and I moved to the most volatile stock market trade. Being sharp-minded and good with numbers, I learned and excelled at the trade. By the age of 21, I was making more money than I could have imagined.
“Failures are part of the journey.”
The market crash got me back to square one. Money earned in years was lost in a few days.
I didn’t give up. I bounced back stronger and was back on track. However, the stress of the job, overworking, and the erratic work hours started taking a toll on my health.
Sometimes life takes unexpected turns in the right direction.
Then, when life gave me another shift, and I saw digital, and tech was booming, I shifted my gears to the digital sector. And finally found what I love:)
What convinced you to move to Israel?
When I got married, my wife was working in Elal airlines in Mumbai, and she frequently traveled to Israel for her work.
She inspired me to seek opportunities in Israel because of my passion for entrepreneurship, startups, and technology.
Israel was the perfect place to build our careers!
I am really happy that we made the decision to move here.
What do you miss most about Israel when you’re away?
Home Sweet Home.
Israel is my permanent home. I have the same feeling when you go on vacation, and after a few days, you feel that you need to go home.
What do you miss most about India when you’re away?
There’s a saying that you have to pay a prize for achieving success.
There’s a prize for everything.
For me, it was leaving my family in search of my dream.
So I miss them every moment.
What do your friends and family back in India say about you living in Israel and being so involved in her tech world?
Honestly, my family/relatives were against my decision to move and settle here because of how the media portrays Israel.
I was in my early twenties living with my parents and had to convince them to pursue my dream.
Trust me; it was super difficult.
Good things in life don’t come easily.
My father moved to Mumbai from a village in Gujarat to pursue his dream, so he understood me better and supported my decision.
Now when family/friends see the real Israel through my posts and how I am growing and living the dream, they feel so proud.
I am happy that I am able to show the world “REAL ISRAEL,” which is full of life and possibilities.
What do you think India/Indians and Israel/Israelis have in common?
Both countries have many similarities in culture, rich history, religion, and they’re striving to make the world a better and peaceful place.
India & Israel are both multicultural and have many ethnic groups, and have ancient holy places of every religion.
Both countries got independence nearly at the same time—India in 1947 and Israel in 1948.
Jews and Hindus in both countries are around 80%.
And most important of all, both Indians and Israelis have an entrepreneurial mindset that always looks to solve problems and make the world a better place.
What is one thing you know about Israel that even her greatest supporters may not know?
In the last eight years, the work-life culture in Israel has taught me one of the most important things. Work hard but make sure you enjoy life too.
Having work-life balance increases productivity is something many people talk about, but people follow here.
Share an only-in-Israel moment. (we all have at least one!)
My first day in Israel was the hardest day of my life.
New country, culture, and language as a foreign national are really challenging.
Especially when you are not on vacation.
I was about to give up in my first week and almost decided to go back.
I kept on pushing myself to adapt and accept the change.
Beginnings are always difficult!
Don’t give up.
A lot of amazing people helped us settle here.
I think that’s the only-in-Israel moment as almost everyone is an immigrant here.
So when they moved here, others helped them settle, and now when someone new moves, they want to help.
I started to love this country.
Israel is not just a country of startups, innovation, and technology.
Israel is awesome because of amazing PEOPLE!
I LOVE ISRAEL