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Vinod Gupta, a Clever And Warm-Hearted Entrepreneur


A businessman and philanthropist, Vin Gupta is truly a self-made man. Born into poverty on July 4, 1946, in a small Indian village about 100 miles from New Delhi, Vin Gupta spent his childhood without the basic modern conveniences of electricity and running water. Despite his poverty, he made academic achievements because he was a bright and motivated student.


After his high school graduation and three years in the Indian Air Force, Vin Gupta entered the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur where he chose the major of Agricultural Engineering and graduated in three years. Afterward, Vin Gupta was admitted to the University of Nebraska. There he held an assistantship in the Department of Agricultural Engineering under Professor Bill Splinter, whom he had met at IIT Kharagpur. Two years later, Gupta received his American engineering degree and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.


Gupta’s career as an entrepreneur began after he started as a marketing research analyst for Commodore Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska, a company that sold mobile homes. When he was given the task of evaluating the success of other mobile home companies, Gupta discovered the difficulty of locating data on these companies. See This Article to learn more.


So, he ordered all the published Yellow Pages directories and he and his boss sorted through the many state phone books. Realizing that he had gleaned valuable information, Vin Gupta made Commodore an offer: The company could purchase this data and retain it. Otherwise, Gupta and his boss/partner would sell the data to Commodore’s competitors. Commodore paid $9,000 for the data.


This research was the beginning of Gupta’s career. He formed a company called American Business Information, Inc., a supplier of marketing information and analyses gleaned from annual reports, government publications, trade journals, SEC information and financial publications. The company was renamed infoUSA and later called InfoFree.


Despite Vin’s many successes, Gupta has never forgotten his humble beginnings and has donated millions to the construction of schools in both India and the U.S. The Vinod Gupta Foundation advances education in several fields, as well.


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