The Rise Of Vinod Gupta


On July 4th, 1946 Vinod Gupta was born in Rampur Manhyaran a village located near Saharanpur, north of New Delhi. He completed his high school studies in 1962 and got admitted to a training institute situated in Kharagpur where he studied agricultural engineering. It is in the year 1967 that Vinod Gupta graduated with B.Tech. After his graduation, he gained admission at Nebraska University as a graduate assistant too.


Upon receiving his second degree in engineering, he studied a Master’s degree in Business in the same university for two years. In the year 1971, Gupta got employed as a Marketing Research Analyst working for Commodore Corporation in Omaha. The corporation was involved in the manufacture of mobile homes and had 18 workshops countrywide. At Commodore, he was assigned to compile a list for all mobile home dealers in the US. All the records that he purchased from business list companies were either incomplete or outdated, and this led him to order all 4800 Yellow Pages contact directories with the aim of compiling the list himself. He was lucky that the phone books cost him nothing. See This Page for additional information.


Vinod Gupta almost faced termination after the books were delivered only to fill the whole receptionist’s area. He transferred them to his garage and once done Vinod asked Commodore to either buy it at $9000 or get it free and allow Vinod to trade it to Commodore’s business rivals. They chose the latter. He borrowed $100 as starting capital and later established his company named Business Research Services & American Business Lists in 1972. He resigned in 1973 a time when his business was booming and had expanded to industries like motor vehicles. The company’s primary role was to offer business information. It acquired other companies and changed its name to InfoUSA.


With only $100 capital, Vinod’s business grew to $302 million in transactions in the year 2002. In 1992 InfoUSA went public and was sold for$680 million in 2010.


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