About Our Founder, Vin Gupta

Vin Gupta
Vin was born and raised in the village of Rampur Manhyaran, one-hundred miles north of New Delhi. He spent his childhood without electricity or running water, and studied in a village school. After high school, he was admitted to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in 1962.

For the next five years, Vin pursued topics in Agricultural Engineering at IIT Kharagpur, building a solid foundation for his future educational and professional pursuits. After graduating from IIT Kharagpur in May 1967 with a Bachelor of Technology, he came to the United States with $58 in his pocket and settled in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a dual Master’s candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from August 1968 through May 1971, Vin devoted his time and energy to studies in engineering and business management. Earning his Master of Science in Engineering in 1969 and Master of Business Administration in 1971, Vin soon launched his career as a Marketing Research Manager at the Commodore Corporation in Omaha.

During his time with the Commodore Corporation, a mobile home manufacturer, Vin recognized the importance of information and database management. He then started his own business – first named Business Research Services, and then changed to American Business Information – with $100 that he borrowed. He ordered all the yellow pages in the nation, and compiled his first list for mobile home dealers. For the next 13 years, Vin and his associates compiled and categorized the entirety of the United States Yellow Pages directories, with substantial demand from small-business customers. Upon its IPO in 1993, American Business Lists underwent many changes in the ensuing years.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton nominated Vin as Counsel General to Bermuda. When confirmed, Vin was nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Fiji. Due to his commitment to his company, he decided to withdraw his nomination.

In August 2008, Vin retired from his post as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of his prominent database marketing company, leaving behind his legacy of hands-on leadership and measurable performance.

Since then, Vin has returned to his entrepreneurial roots to found Infofree.com. Vin continues to help small businesses build their marketing efforts, and offers quality information and databases to help entrepreneurs like himself grow their sales. For more information about Vin’s present activities,
visit: www.vingupta.com.

See Our Founder on 60 Minutes

Clinton Ambassadorship Letter

Letter from Bill Clinton

Letter sent from The White House on September 22, 1998.

Vinod Gupta
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Post Office Box 27347
Omaha, NE 68127

Dear Vinod:

Thank you for your letter of August 6. I understand your reasons for withdrawing your name from consideration for the Ambassadorship to the Republic of Fiji.

As you pursue your business endeavors, you have my best wishes for every success.

Bill Clinton

Buffett Investment Letter

Letter from Warren Buffett

Letter sent from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on April 13, 1994 to Vinod Gupta, Chairman American Business Information.

Dear Vin:

Your Letter, and the Annual Report that you enclosed, made my day. I read parts of your shareholders’ letter to Susie Sr. this morning – Mahatma Gandhi has been at the top of her list of heroes throughout her life – and of course she wanted a copy sent to her immediately.

It’s clear that you write your own letter; don’t ever give it up. The shareholders will get to know you well through your messages and that will be a big plus for ABI over time. And, by the way, it’s clear from the report that you have built a terrific business.

Best personal regards.

Warren E. Buffett

Buffett Investment Letter

Letter from Warren Buffett

Letter sent from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on November 15, 1999 to Vinod Gupta, Chairman American Business Information.

Dear Vin:

This is to confirm that contingent on your completion of the agreement with Polk, Berkshire Hathaway will purchase $80 million of a proposed $110 million preferred stock with a coupon of 10% and a conversion price of $9.

Warren E. Buffett