Indian American couple to sell Syntel for $3.4 billion

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An Indian American couple, Bharat Desai and his wife Neerja Sethi, have sold their company Syntel to Atos SE, a French technology service for $3.4 billion.

The couple was set to be the richest Indian-Americans in the World Billionaires’ list in 2014. However, a reversal in their fortunes saw them come in at 1,999 this year.

Similarly, Sethi was ranked 21 on the magazine’s list of America’s 60 self-made richest women, down from 14 in 2015.

According to The Times of India, they jointly held a 57 percent stake in the company, which means that they will walk away with more around $2 billion from the all-cash deal expected to close by the end of this year.

Desai was born in Kenya and grew up in India, graduating from IIT-Bombay and then moved to the U.S in 1976 as a programmer for Tata Consulting Services.

After working there for a short amount of time, he went on to complete his MBA at the University of Michigan, where he also met Sethi and both of them decided to start an IT company while they were still studying.

According to a Business Today report, Syntel was modeled after TCS in some ways and was set up with an initial investment of just $2,000 in 1980.

It went on to post revenues of $30,000 in its first year and got a massive boost when it signed on General Motors as a client.

Syntel was initially an IT staffing company and soon became a firm providing IT applications services as it opened the first of its multiple India Global Development Centers in 1992.

Five years later, the company went public and grew its turnover to $100 million. It  brought in revenue of nearly $924 million in 2017.

Syntel however failed to soar to the heights of other tech giants such as Infosys, whose revenue is 10 times more than Syntel’s.

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