LOS GATOS, Calif. — Hours before he was due to deliver the afternoon keynote address at the IIT Bay Area Leadership conference June 15, former McKinsey CEO Rajat Gupta, in an exclusive interview here with India-West proclaimed his innocence and stated he was wrongly convicted.
The Indian American titan was the first non-American born person to head McKinsey, where he served his entire career. He also served on several corporate boards, including Goldman Sachs as director, and Proctor and Gamble.
In his memoir, ‘Mind Without Fear,’ released in March by Rosetta Books, Gupta characterizes himself as: “An Orphan. Immigrant. Businessman. Leader. Philanthropist. Role Model. And Convicted Felon.”
Gupta was convicted in 2012 for passing insider information to his business partner, Raj Rajaratnam, with whom he founded Voyager Capital.
The conviction was upheld in 2014, and Gupta began serving his prison term June 17, 2014 at FMC Devens in Massachusetts, a minimum security prison. He was released on Jan. 5, 2016, and served the last two months of his sentence in house arrest at his Manhattan home.
In the interview with India-West, shown in its entirety below, Gupta discussed former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara’s “over-zealous”role in his conviction.
“There was no direct evidence of any kind. I had inside information in my possession for over 30 years. So why would I suddenly decide to give inside information when there was zero benefit?” he queried.
Gupta said that — though he would not wish it on anyone — he enjoyed his time in prison. “I had kind of resolved to myself that I would take that time to actually improve myself,” he said, noting that he took long walks, played bridge, and made new friends.
Gupta also discussed his prolific philanthropic endeavors, his legacy at McKinsey, and plans for the next chapter of his life.
Watch the video here: