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Corporate May 22, 2012

India Inc sticks up for Gupta; praises ‘Other Rajat’

New York: Many Indian business leaders including Mukesh Ambani and Adi Godrej have expressed their support for prominent Indian-American Rajat Gupta, who went on trial on Monday in a high-profile insider trading scandal.

Friends of Rajat Gupta, a high-profile Wall Street personality and former Goldman Sachs director, have come out in support of him through a website titled 'www.friendsofrajat.com'.

India-born Rajat Gupta is facing trial for allegedly providing insider information on companies to his friend and now convicted hedge fund trader Raj Rajaratnam. His trial started in a Manhattan court on Monday

Former McKinsey chief and ex-Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta. Reuters

Reliance Industries chairman and billionaire Mukesh Ambani has said that he has known Rajat for over 20 years.

"In every conversation I have had with him over the years, he was always talking about the things he wanted to do for India, for others, and never about himself," Ambani has said in a letter posted on the website.

"I have never seen him ask for anything for himself, always for a greater good... I respect Rajat for his selfless dedication and humility and he will always be a friend of mine," he noted.

According to Ambani, Rajat always quoted the Bhagvad Gita shloka that said, "You are only entitled to do your duty, not to the fruits of that duty".

In another letter, Godrej Group chairman and prominent industrialist has said that Rajat has always been a person of great integrity and clarity of purpose. "My admiration for Rajat remains as strong as ever," he noted.

As per the website, other friends of Rajat include ITC chairman Yogi Deveshwar and DLF chairman K P Singh, Analjit Singh of Max India; and Rajendra Singh Pawar, chairman of NIIT.

Rajat's friends and supporters have scoffed at the prosecutors' allegation that Gupta tipped Rajaratnam to enhance the holdings of a fund the two had invested in. "Rajat is too smart - he's not stupid to do something foolish, as what has been alleged," Analjit Singh, Max India chairman and founder, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The website offers a glimpse into Gupta's world, where his supporters - some plutocrats, some lifelong friends - point to the millions of dollars he has raised for education and healthcare.

One of the charges against Rajat is that he had tipped off Rajaratnam about Berkshire Hathaway's $ 15 billion investment in Goldman Sachs at the height of financial meltdown in 2008.

You can view the open letter here.

Agencies

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