India’s rich struggles with Gupta’s US fate

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Rajat Gupta lived the ultimate Indian dream: a successful reputation with an ability to open doors at the highest level of global business. The orphan-turned-success story has made him a role model in India where many aspire to follow his meritocratic career path, which includes a Harvard education and the top posts at McKinsey & Co and Goldman Sachs. During Gupta’s trial in the US where he was found guilty on several counts of passing on secret business information relating to trades in the stock of Goldman Sachs to Raj Rajaratnam, the head of Galleon, a hedge fund, many leading Indian industrialists backed a public campaign supporting Gupta, including Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire head of Reliance Industries and Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group. But there was also muted criticism about the greed and avarice involved in the deed. Book author and former P&G India CEO Gurcharan Das, said that Gupta, while associating with billionaires, aspired to become one of them. “It’s the classic problem of status anxiety…he was associating with CEOs and billionaires earning very large sums. His job was to advise people with a lot of capital, not to be an owner of capital. He got new ambitions,” Das told Financial Times.

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