The United States of America has long been known as the land of opportunity. Vinod Gupta came to the United States from India in 1967 via a plane ticket that his family paid for with borrowed money. While not all immigrants experience similar levels of success to Mr. Gupta, this anecdote goes to show that America is, in fact, still the land of opportunity it’s always been.
But how did Vinod Gupta start his life, and what happened after he emigrated from India to the United States?
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Back in the day
India, the second-most populated country on planet Earth, is widely known as having widespread poverty. Not all areas are impoverished, but the area Vinod Gupta came from was unarguably in the proverbial dumps from 1946, when Gupta was born, through his emigration date in 1967.
Some tens of miles north of New Delhi, India, the young Vinod’s village was home to zero television sets, no toilets, absolutely no utilities like running water and active electricity, no paved roads, and zero automobiles.
In hopes of getting away from his impoverished homeland, Vinod Gupta joined the Indian Air Force as a Flying Officer, a rank roughly equivalent to a pilot in the United States Air Force.
In 1967, Mr. Gupta resigned from his post with the high-up rank of Squadron Leader. Throughout the three-year period ending in 1967, Vinod Gupta attended college at I.I.T. Kharagpur. The year he was honorably discharged from the Indian military, he earned a bachelor’s degree equivalent in agricultural engineering.
Vinod Gupta is arguably best known for founding the Business Research Services and American Business Lists (ABI).
Business Research Services and ABI helped businesses obtain information on prospective clients.
The company was later renamed as InfoUSA, today known as InfoFree, a software-as-a-service system that assists organizations, businesses, and institutions in expanding sales.
The company went public in 1992 and was eventually sold by Gupta in 2010 for some $680 million.
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