14 June, 2021

Info Pirate

Vinod Gupta, the IIT-back bencher NRI businessman, has donated millions to charity at home

Info Pirate

HE had his first visitation of technology when he was in his seventh grade in the village of Rampur Manhyaran, 166 km north of Delhi, near the city of Saharanpur. A friend had smuggled into school a transistor radio and as Vinod Gupta poked and caressed the dials he was smitten by this something that buzzed without electricity and had come from some distant land called America, which as far as he was concerned was somewhere on the moon.

The son of a local doctor, Gupta vowed that moment to someday breach this mesmeric citadel of technology. He got his chance in 1967 after a B. Tech degree in agricultural engineering from IIT Kharagpur. Slipping through in second division and with horrible grades, he went against advice and applied to 14 American universities. Says Gupta: "People told me not to waste my time and money but I have never cared for what people tell me." Against all odds and to his utter surprise, Gupta received offers from five. In the summer of 1967 he flew to Lincoln, to join the University of Nebraska with $58 in...

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