Vinod Gupta Navigated The Information Highway To Success
Vinod Gupta always had a love for technology and computers, starting out early in his career with a job at Commodore. He soon departed the company, however, to pursue an idea of his own. This was before the internet was invented and Vinod saw an opportunity to provide much needed information to businesses with far less effort than it would take to manually do the research He hired two employees and, together, they combed through the yellow pages to amass the information they would need to start the business.
That company was named Business Research Services & American Business Lists (ABI) and, over time, developed a reputation in the marketing sector. The lists that Mr. Gupta and his associates generated became invaluable tools for manufacturers of mobile homes. Those businesses used Vinod’s lists to create cold call lists for their sales teams, providing hot prospects and boosting their pool of leads.
From there, Gupta expanded the types of businesses that ABI serviced to include bicycle, motorcycle, boat, automobile, CB radio, and tractor dealers. As the business started to grow, Vinod found that these types of business to business marketing services were in high demand and ABI was in the perfect position to supply that need.
By the time ABI had integrated the entire content of the yellow pages, Vinod Gupta knew it was time to expand into other areas of marketing. Bearing that in mind, he directed ABI to acquire Donnelley Marketing, Database America, ProCD, Walter Karl, and JAMI, among a few other prominent marketing firms. Serving as an umbrella for so many marketing firms meant it was time for ABI to grow in name, as well as in practice. The company was renamed infoUSA.
The newly branded infoUSA would ultimately amass information from 5,200 phone directories across North America, servicing millions of businesses. In addition to traditional lead generating, the lists provided by infoUSA were used for telemarketing services, direct marketing, sales planning, and credit generation. Learn more about Vinod Gupta on Chicago Evening Post: Law School At IIT Kharagpur, Established By Vinod Gupta, Rated Number One In Research And Number Four Overall In India
Even with the internet as competition, the company is still in business today, operating as infoFREE. The company now operates as a cloud-based software service, designed to help any business boost their sales. The lists are extensive and come at the low cost of $300 per month for the mailing list.
Starting out with just $100 and two employees, Vinod Grupta has grown his business into a corporation that employs more than 1,800 people. In 2002, the company reported generating $302 million in sales. The infoFREE stock went public in 1992 and has steadily grown over the years. Vinod sold the company in July 2010 for a reported $680 million.