Bobby Chacko is a living embodiment of the American dream that so many foreigners believe in when they come to the United States seeking education or a career. The entrepreneur and executive has climbed the corporate ladder in the 25 years since he graduated from college at the young age of 19.
After leaving his position as President and CEO of Ocean Spray, the Massachusetts based agricultural cooperative of growers of cranberries and grapefruit most known for their lines of juices and snacks, Chacko joined the Board of Directors for Fairexpay. Fairexpay is a fintech company that specializes in international payments, serving a need that Chacko is very familiar with thanks to his status as a global citizen.
Fairexpay Founder and CEO Raj Kattelu had nothing but great things to say about Chacko joining the company’s Board of Directors in a press release announcing the move. He described the importance of Chacko’s membership by saying, “We are pleased to welcome Bobby Chacko as a Board Member to Fairexpay. He joins Fairexpay at an exciting time as we continue to revolutionize the b2b cross-border payments platform space and drive our Global Expansion.
“Bobby’s strategic and entrepreneurial perspectives will be invaluable in steering Fairexpay’s ambition in the global FX marketplace, where strategic business relationships and our SAP powered customer business model integrations will be critical for accelerated growth. We are confident Bobby will provide valuable strategic advice to management as we execute our strategy and accelerate value creation for all our Partners, Investors, and Customers. We look forward to his many contributions and are excited he understands first-hand the startup landscape and entrepreneurs.”
The strategic and entrepreneurial perspectives that Kattelu and the rest of Fairexpay are so excited about are traits that Chacko has displayed throughout his entire career. The drive that goes hand-in-hand with those perspectives was with him in full force when he started his journey by coming to the United States for college at the astonishing age of 15.
Chacko was born and raised in Nigeria, the son of Indian parents who immigrated there pursuing their education careers. From birth, Chacko had a prime example in his parents of how far you can go in the pursuit of your goals and was raised in a household that valued education. That lead to his journey to Manhattan to earn his college degree.
Graduating at 19, Chacko’s drive paid off once again as he very quickly had to start his career due to the fact that his student visa was expiring. He began navigating the midtown district of Manhattan and walking into companies that he thought he would be a good fit for and sought employment. In his own words, he explained the situation, “With my student visa expiring, I was left with just weeks to find a job that would sponsor a work visa. With days to spare, I proudly became the youngest employee at Marketing Management Analytics in Westport, CT.”
Leaving your home and traversing the Atlantic ocean at the young age of 15 to pursue a college education in the sprawling urban jungle that is New York City, and then successfully graduating and using nothing but your determination to find not only a job but a career, are prime examples of why Chacko has had the success that he has.
His fearlessness, willingness to relocate and drive to succeed has brought Chacko from continent to continent and to the very top of the corporate world. He has used his skillset at companies like Altria, GE Capital, ABInbev, The Coca-Cola Company and Mars, and done so in over 30 international markets. His spirit is a big reason as to why his track record is what it is and why Yahoo Finance called him “a transformational leader known as a dynamic change agent and chief strategist.”
Looking at his career—not to mention his life—as a whole truly highlights why Fairexpay is so enthusiastic about having Chacko on their board of directors. He is not only a change agent in the world of business, but he is an individual with life experience that directly relates to what the company does.
His global world view and insights into foreign cultures and how they operate on a day-to-day basis give him a level of expertise that cannot be learned in a classroom or in a boardroom. By using his unique and astonishing life to inform his business decisions, Chacko has become one of the most impactful executives in the world of business and he did so by compounding those unique skillsets with his unparalleled drive. Any immigrant who is looking to make an impact in the corporate world can, and should, look at Chacko’s life story and career path for inspiration.