Vinod Gupta Made It In The U.S.A. As An Immigrant From India
InfoUSA, currently known as InfoFree, is a SaaS (software as a service) system that was founded more than 40 years ago by Vinod Gupta. Today owned by InfoGroup, another company created by Vinod Gupta, InfoUSA was sold in 2010 for $460 million to CCMP Capital, one of the United States’ top private equity firms that bought the company in a leveraged buyout nearly a decade ago. Infogroup powers and verifies the world’s top search engines. Infogroup also provides Point of Interest data to the leading in-car navigation systems in North America
Vinod Gupta first founded American Business Lists and Business Research Services shortly after immigrating to the United States from his birth nation of India in 1967. Over time, Business Research Services was – really, the two companies merged, though the transaction was officially structured as an acquisition – acquired by American Business Lists, which later transformed into InfoUSA, the company mentioned in the first paragraph.
Read more about Vinod Gupta on Forbes’ 2018 “World’s Billionaires” list includes Vinod and Anil Rai Gupta
Here’s how the idea for American Business Lists came about
In 1967, Mr. Vinod Gupta found a job as a marketing researcher and business analyst with Commodore Corporation, then one of the United States’ greatest mobile home manufacturers; Commodore Corporation was so great that it had a whopping 18 manufacturing facilities across the nation, more than any other such manufacturer at the time.
Back then, the Internet as we know it today was not yet invented. As such, searching for other businesses’ contact information – name, address, and phone number – was difficult, if not impractical due to cost concerns.
Vinod Gupta was given the responsibility of forming a list of the nation’s mobile home dealers. Creating a list of all of them, not just those in Commodore’s home state of Nebraska; every single mobile home dealer across the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Although Gupta had to order 4,800 Yellow Pages directories for research, he used the list to offer that same list to other mobile home dealers. This started American Business Lists; the rest is history.