Vinod Gupta’s Life and Career

Private equity firms are trying to make investors do well by doing good in the firm process of mitigating risky scenarios. Blackstone Group has a team lead by chief sustainability officer, Don Anderson who has worked with portfolio companies such as Equity Offices Properties Trust, and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. His project is simple, the mission: turn off lights that are not being used in the buildings, control room temperatures, and reduce water wasting.
Vinod Gupta studied agricultural engineering, receiving his degree in 1967 from I.I.T., Kharagpur. He also studied at the University of Nebraska where he earned a degree in agricultural engineering under the leadership of Bill Splinter, who had visited I.I.T., Kharagpur. He received an engineering degree in 1969, spending two more years at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, earning a Master’s degree in business administration by 1971. He worked at Commodore Corporation in Omaha, as a manufacturer of mobile homes with 18 plants around the country.

At Commodore, his task was to get a list of every mobile home dealer in the United States, while buying lists from business list companies that existed at the time, which were incomplete as well as out of date. Vinod ordered 4,800 Yellow Pages phone directories and set out to write the list on his own with the help of the Yellow Pages as a resource. When he finished the list, Gupta gave Commodore the option of either paying $9,000 for the rights or receive it free on the condition that Gupta and his partner sell it to Commodore competitors. Commodore chose to let him sell it to competitors rather than buy it out. Gupta borrowed $100 from Ralston Bank, and in three weeks he got checks for $13,000 and $22,000 as he founded Business Research Services & American Business List as he quit working for Commodore in 1973.

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