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Rajat Gupta in India, parties with India Inc

By Newsd
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Former global managing director of McKinsey and Co and Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta returned to India last week after completing his two-year prison term in the US.

Jailed in June 2014 in Devens, Massachusetts, Gupta was freed after receiving credit for good behavior against his 30-month sentence, according to Patrick McFarland, a manager for the Federal Bureau of Prisons program in the New York area which is overseeing Gupta. McFarland declined to provide more details

He received a warm welcome from friends, many of whom had stood staunchly by him during his darkest hours.  One of them, Analjit Singh of Max IndiaBSE -11.33 %, threw a private bash at his Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road home in the capital on November 9, said people who were there.

Those who attended were a select set of the rich and the powerful—Sunil Mittal, Atul ‘Mickey’ Punj, Anand Burman, who took time out of his daughter Anisha’s wedding later that same week, CK Birla, Gupta’s former McKinsey colleague Pramath Sinha, former Citi banker turned private equity boss Sanjay Nayyar of KKR, Singh’s senior most lieutanant at Max Group Rahul Khosla and marketing and brand consultant Suhel Seth.

“We welcome Rajat wholeheartedly. I don’t know of another PIO (people of Indian origin) who has done more for India. Fairly or otherwise he has served his term. We have to move on in life. Forgive, forget and let things go,” Singh told ET.

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said Gupta brought to bear his position as the head of a global consultancy to focus on pressing issues like public health and education in India.

“He has served time for an offence which he continues to challenge in courts. I am sure Rajat will find a renewed purpose to use his skills. He drew strength from Bhagwad Gita through his difficult time which,I hope, will shape his future,” said Mittal.

So over glasses of Pinot Noir and the finest 21 year old malts and finger foods that only the best of Delhi hospitality can offer, the conversation ranged from Modi’s bold demonitisation moves and its impact of the upcoming elections and economy to the latest boardroom coup at the House of Tatas that has polarised India Inc, guests were over eager to know what the man who blazed the trail for other Indians who joined the small club of MNC CEOs, like Vikram Pandit of Citigroup and Indira of PepsiCo, has in store next.

“He has a lot of goodwill. He has done a lot for Indian business and ISB. He is not a fugitive He has done his time. In the American system, you pay your dues and move on,” said a Delhi based industrialist on condition of anonymity who attended the dinner.