“Rajat Gupta: from rags, to riches, to wreck”

Rajat Gupta, an Indian-American business leader, was convicted of insider trading,securities fraud and conspiracy in June 2012.He is accused of providing insider information to Galleon hedge fund founder and friend Raj Rajaratnam between the year 2007 and 2009.(Raj Rajaratnam is currently serving 11 years in prison for making millions in profits and avoiding losses through insider trading)

Rajat Gupta is one of the 67 people convicted by the US jury of insider trading in the last 5 years.But what sets him apart from the other convicts is that he is one of the most high-profile Wall-Street executives to be charged with the crime.


Born in a typical middle-class family in Kolkata, he went on to become the first Indian-born CEO of a global western company.He ranked 15th in the IIT entrance test and also earned a scholarship to Harvard Business School. In the campus placement, he was hired by the management consultancy firm,Mckinsey(they initially rejected him due to lack of experience but his teacher personally requested the directors of Mckinsey to take him).He then went on to become the MD of the company for 3 consecutive terms(1994-2003). He has also served as board member of Goldman Sachs and Proctor&Gamble; and in various other capacities at different NPOs.

He co-founded Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

An interesting thing in the Rajat Gupta trial is that the members of the jury who convicted him became emotional during the trial. One of the members said-“He is a man who came to this country and became a wonderful example of the American dream, a story-book life, with a family whose support looked to be based on respect, love and honor”. The jury had to convict him because of the ‘overwhelming evidence’ against him.

His conviction has also made people wonder about the motive of his crime as he did not seem to get any direct benefit from sharing the insider information of the companies with Raj Rajaratnam.

He awaits sentencing on Oct 24th. He could face prison term up to 25 years.Bill Gates and Kofi Annan along with 200 other friends have written letters to US District judge to be  lenient in his sentencing taking into account his philanthropic activities.

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