Umang P. Gupta

Date:   Friday , November 21, 2008

Age 50 years
Place of Birth Patiala

Residence San Mateo, CA

Family Wife Ruth, daughter Anjali, 18;son Kashi, 11.old.

Came to the U.S. 1971

Education B.Tech (Chemical Engg.) - IIT, Kanpur, 1971; MBA , Kent State University, 1972.

First job and career Financial/systems analyst at Copperweld Steel Ohio, 1972-73.

Company started Gupta Technologies

Year did an IPO 1993

Year became millionaire 1986, courtesy of Oracle

Favorite charity “ PARCA,” a Bay Area organization devoted to the needs of developmentally disabled children and adults including those with Down’s Syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy.

Lifetime goals -

Net worth Over $100 million

Philosophy of life Strive not to be a man of success but of value -- Einstein

Most inspired by My parents

Most excited by

Most expensive thing ever bought My first home -- I bought it with Oracle stock in 1986.

Umang Gupta’s late father worked in India’s Labor Ministry, retiring as deputy chief labor commissioner, and his mother is a politician who fought notably for the rights of coal miners in Dhanbad, Bihar. Gupta says he grew up with strong nationalistic feelings but didn’t follow on either of his parents’ footsteps. He almost followed his grandfather’s into the army but at the last minute turned down an offer to join the National Defense Academy. Instead, he joined the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur where he studied chemical engineering. Unsurprisingly, he then proceeded to the United States, but uncommonly for the 1970s, he came to study management, not technology.

He has lived in the US for close to three decades and has done stints at major corporations including IBM and Oracle, where he was employee number 17. Professionals of his generation rarely had an entrepreneurial bent, and he didn’t either, according to Gupta. That is, he didn’t until he understood the opportunities available in the US.

In 1984, he started Gupta Technologies, which did seminal work in client-server technologies and SQL database servers for PCs. With no venture capital available until later, Gupta bootstrapped the company early on. He took Gupta Technologies public in 1993, when a company needed to be profitable before it could go public. Gupta Technologies had to show four consecutive profitable quarters before the market would accept an initial public offering of the company’s stock. According to Gupta, the company was the first software company founded by an Indian to go public.

Last year, Gupta took another company public, Keynote Systems. It took much less effort and the company was also able to attract venture capital more easily, Gupta says. The 50-year-old entered Keynote Systems as an angel investor in the middle of 1997, and by the end of the year had become the CEO, helping to shape the company’s growth.

Keynote took upon itself the critical task of evaluating and measuring the performance of the Internet and its constituent Web sites. It remained a behind-the-scenes player but shot into public prominence when leading Web sites such as Yahoo, eBay and E-Trade, among others, suffered massive outages caused by denial-of-service attacks. When these attacks occurred, almost everybody turned to Keynote’s “war room” to learn about it.

Gupta says Keynote was started because some people realized that the Internet might be vulnerable to such attacks, and needs a world-class monitoring agency. The company has installed computer “probes” worldwide to monitor the functioning of the Internet and Gupta claims a 90 percent market share.

He envisions Keynote as an “Internet quality authority” or a “J.D. Power of the Internet.” He is taking Keynote down the path of becoming a monitor of e-commerce, reporting information on, say, how long it takes to execute a trade on the site of an online brokerage.

The veteran says a fundamental lesson he has learnt in his career is: technology alone is not enough for a business to become successful. It has to be combined with marketing and operations.

Bala Murali Krishna