Rajat Gupta's stunning fall from grace

Oct 25 2012, 12:50 IST
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The rise and fall of 63-year-old Gupta, who went from being one of the most successful India-born businessmen in the US to being called The rise and fall of 63-year-old Gupta, who went from being one of the most successful India-born businessmen in the US to being called "deceptive and dishonest" after his conviction on insider trading charges, has been the stuff of legends. (Reuters)
SummaryFrom India Inc's Wall Street poster boy to being reduced to a convict.

From India Inc's Wall Street poster boy to being reduced to a convict in one of the biggest insider trading cases in the US, Rajat Gupta's stunning fall from grace has been improbable.

Gupta, 63, today was handed down a two-year prison term by US District Court Judge Jed Rakoff, who also ordered him to pay a USD 5 million fine. He was also ordered to serve a year of supervised release after the end of his prison term.

The rise and fall of 63-year-old Gupta, who went from being one of the most successful India-born businessmen in the US to being called "deceptive and dishonest" after his conviction on insider trading charges, has been the stuff of legends.

The Diwali of 2011 saw Gupta surrender himself before the FBI after charges of insider trading were filed against him by Manhataan's top federal prosecutor India-born Preet Bharara.

Born in Maniktala in Kolkata, Gupta is the son of a freedom fighter-turned-journalist father and school teacher mother.

An orphaned Gupta, who came to Harvard Business School on a scholarship after completing his B-Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi, charted an enviable career graph for himself.

Following initial years of struggle after his parents' untimely death, Gupta topped his class at Harvard and applied for a position at McKinsey, but was turned down for lack of business experience.

After a professor personally intervened with the then head of McKinsey, Gupta joined its New York office in 1973.

In just over 20 years, he rose to the position of global head of the company, becoming the first ever India-born CEO of a US international corporation.

Gupta's rise through the ranks of Corporate America was stellar with enviable posts like board seats at Goldman Sachs and Procter and Gamble, co-founder of the prestigious Indian School of Business, adviser to the executive leadership of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as also the United Nations dotting his resume.

Gupta was also a director of the AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines.

The Rockefeller Foundation appointed him a trustee; he was named special adviser on management reform to then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and additionally served on the UN Commission on the Private Sector and Development and was co-chairman of the United Nations Association of America.

He was hailed as a poster-boy of Indians scaling great heights in corporate echelons abroad and his

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