Crunching numbers with peace

Sukant Deepak-


Young and middle-aged corporates in sharp suits and expensive watches are standing in a disciplined queue. But they wont be content with just an autograph. Most of them also want pictures with him. ‘Him has no problem obliging. Its his moment. He is nothing short of a rockstar right now.

The occasion may have been the launch of Rajat Gupta’s book ‘Mind Without Fear’ (Juggernaut) at the Nehru Memorial Museum Library in the capital, but the corridor is full of people confessing in almost a star-struck tone how he has been an inspiration to them. For the uninitiated, Gupta was the first foreign-born Managing Director of management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company in the US from 1994 to 2003. In 2012, he was convicted by US courts for insider trading and spent two years in jail.

In ‘Mind Without Fear’, he tells his side of the story, which he did not speak of during his trial, based on the advice of his lawyers.

Mention if the economic conditions in the US prevailing during the trial had an impact on the decision, Gupta told IANS, “Let us not forget that it was the biggest financial crisis of our lifetimes. People were losing their jobs, pensions and there was economic fear and uncertainty. People also believed that they hadn’t done anything wrong and it was the financial system that was to be blamed. Consequently, they wanted people to be held accountable. Sadly, the ones actually responsible were never really convicted.”

Though he started the outline of the book while in prison, the actual process of writing commenced after a year of the release. “And I took one and a half years to write it.” Ask him about the process, and if it helped getting things out of his system, and he asserts, “Yes. Of course, though writing certain parts was tough as one had to relive several painful moments and situations, but I felt much better post writing them. Frankly, I am quite happy with the end product. Many people who have read it say it’s quite gripping.”