Kartik Goyani, 37

7 Posted by - October 12, 2016 - 2016, Tampa Bay 2016, Tampa-St. Petersburg

Vice president of operations, Metro Development Group

Kartik Goyani came to the U.S. hoping to live the American dream.

His dad gave him $500 and a one-way ticket to the U.S. from India, and that was all he had — he didn’t even know how he would pay tuition for a master’s degree at Purdue University. 

“You have to believe in yourself. I had to wing it,” he says.

He knocked door to door looking for a job on campus and made it work.

It’s the same determination that has helped Goyani succeed at his job as vice president of operations at Metro Development Group, a company that has developed more than 25,000 lots across 70 communities valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Three years ago he came up with an idea — “a figment of my imagination” — of a city that offers data with standard utilities like electricity and water.

That’s why the company launched ULTRAFi, where it installs gigabit-speed technology throughout its developments. Goyani gets excited by offering communitywide access to technology because it can be an “equalizer.” It doesn’t matter if you are poor or rich. Everyone has access to the same websites and tools. 

Goyani expanded the idea to building the first Connected City Corridor in Wesley Chapel, an 8,000-acre multidevelopment that, along ultrafast internet access, offers perks like access to renewable energy, public transportation, a crystal lagoon and an innovation farm encouraging community members to build businesses through technology.

The idea was the reason the company received the Cornerstone Award from Broadband Communities Magazine.

The community has been under construction since last year, and the first homeowners will be moving in next summer. Metro Development Group has paired up with US Ignite on the development, which was established with assistance from the National Science Foundation and the White House’s Science and Technology Policy. 

Goyani says his biggest challenge was people dismissing the idea.

Now his passion and energy have helped win people over. He completed more than 700 meetings in 18 months with local and international companies to let them know about what they were developing.

Multiple technology companies have expressed interest in coming to the new Pasco County  development.

As a big Steve Jobs fan, Goyani says the best business lesson he has ever learned is to stay hungry and foolish. “Be relentless,” he says. “The difference between success and failure isn’t talent, it’s hunger.”

Goyani spends his spare time advising startups in India. “It’s really rewarding, feeds energy back into me and gives me better ideas,” he says.

— Traci McMillan Beach

Q&A

Name: Kartik Goyani

Age: 37

City of residence: Tampa, FL

Twitter handle: @kgoyani

Employer: Metro Development Group, LLC

Title: Vice President of Operations

Birthplace: Mumbai, India

Years on the Gulf Coast: 12

Marital status/children: Happily married and blessed with a beautiful 5-year old daughter

Alma mater: Purdue University. Go Boilers!

Best place to network: Starbucks while having a Flat White

Coolest business experience: Creating the 8,000 Acre “Connected City” which is the very first “Smart Gigabit City” being built in the United States from the ground-up. It’s amazing to be able to create a new city right here in the Tampa Bay region that can compete with any international city in the World.

Messy desk or clean workspace: It doesn’t really matter when you work from an office that overlooks the beautiful Tampa Bay

Best business lesson ever learned: Be relentless…The difference between success and failure isn’t talent, it’s hunger.

A website that makes your job easier: Twitter! It’s the place I start to do all my research and get up to date with current information and events.

Community group you’re most involved with: Helping my wife with BeyondIntent.org – an organization that is involved in funding education for under privileged and special needs kids

Favorite off-hours activity: Advising Start-ups; Reading; and above all playing games with my 5-year old

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Steve Jobs –I had always wanted to go to an Apple product launch by Steve but never made it while he was still alive. It’s probably the biggest regret of my life. Elon Musk – the real Iron Man

What you would be doing if you could pick another career: I have wanderlust and love traveling; so I would probably have become a Travel Advisor helping people check off amazing destinations on their bucket list.

Top item on your bucket list: Spending a month living on the International Space Station (ISS)

Skill you’d like to learn: I am a Geek. I want to learn to create something like JARVIS so I can have my own artificially intelligent computer

Who would play you in a movie about your life: I am of course a big Bollywood fan. My wife says that I wooed her by using dialogues from Shah Rukh Khan’s movies; so for me it would definitely be Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk)

If I had a magic wand I’d: Freeze time! (I guess listening to my daughter’s favorite song “Let It Go” on a never ending loop makes one think only about all things “Frozen” ;)

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