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Hollis entrepreneur exemplifies the American Dream

By Christopher Roberson - Staff Writer | Feb 28, 2024

Dr. Kedar Gupta of Hollis with his new book: Carving My Destiny: Lessons from My Entrepreneurial Ventures. Telegraph photo by CHRISTOPHER ROBERSON

HOLLIS – In 1968, Dr. Kedar Gupta arrived in America from India with only $5 in his pocket — since then, he has gone on to set the standard for entrepreneurial excellence.

In the years that followed, Gupta was vice president and general manager of the Systems Equipment Division of Ferrofluidics Corp. Over the course of five years, Gupta boosted the company’s market share by 55 percent.

From there, he delved into the world of entrepreneurship with $1,000 to invest in a new company. Partnering with Jonathan Talbott, Gupta co-founded GT Advanced Technologies in Merrimack on May 14, 1994.

“Those are things you don’t forget,” he said.

Three years later, GT was valued at $10 million and was the 20th fastest-growing small business in the country.

“We solved all the secrets of the solar sale business,” said Gupta, adding that GT had garnered 80 percent of the world’s solar business.

Gupta suffered a major setback when Bank of America bought FleetBoston Financial in 2004. At the time, Gupta had a $5 million business loan with Fleet. Once the acquisition was complete, Bank of America terminated the loan.

“Bank of America didn’t want any manufacturers,” he said.

With the loan no longer available, GT was forced to declare bankruptcy.

“We fought like anything but there was no money,” said Gupta, adding that GT was set to close on May 9, 2004.

However, the company was saved at the last minute by a green energy group in Taiwan that invested $5 million in GT. With the company safe, Gupta stepped down at the end of 2006. Two years later, GT became a publicly traded company with more than $800 million in revenue.

Following his tenure at GT, Gupta partnered with Dr. C. Richard Schwerdtfeger to embark on a new venture, ARC Energy in Nashua. The focus was to grow 300-kilogram sapphire crystals for LED lighting in a cost-effective manner.

Within three years, ARC Energy had caught the attention of the White House and on Feb. 2, 2010, then-President Barack Obama paid a visit to Nashua.

“Small businesses like ARC Energy have created roughly 65 percent of all new jobs over the past decade-and-a-half,” Obama said during his visit. “These folks are hard at work on a new manufacturing process for ultra-efficient LED lights that will make them affordable for ordinary people. The technology they’ve created is the only (one) of its kind in the world. They’re this little business in a condo out on Amherst Street and they have the potential to revolutionize the industry. Right here in Nashua.”

Gupta retired from ARC Energy when it was bought out by a Chinese company in 2016.

After some coaxing from his daughter, Gupta began writing a business memoir two years ago entitled: Carving My Destiny: Lessons from My Entrepreneurial Ventures.

“I’m not the guy who ever thought he’d write a book,” he said. “I’m a techie.”

The 216-page book was released in November 2023 and describes Gupta’s corporate life as a CEO.

Over the years, Gupta was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the New Hampshire High Tech Council. He also received the Business Excellence Award for Technology from the New Hampshire Business Review.

Gupta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur as well as Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from Lindenwood College.


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