Indian-American couple, who started firm with $2K, makes $2 bn on its sale

An Indian-American couple has raked in big bucks, with French IT outsourcing major Atos's acquisition of Michigan-based Syntel for $3.4 billion.  

Since Bharat Desai and Neerja Sethi together held a 57 per cent stake in Syntel, they have received nearly $2 billion from the sale of their company to the French information technology services group, the Times of India reported on Tuesday.  

Sethi, 63, was serving as the vice-president of Syntel, while Desai, 65, was the co-chairman of the company.   

ALSO READ: Buying India-centric IT outsourcer Syntel to rev up offshore play for Atos 

Here are the key facts about the India-American couple and the company they founded:

1) Sethi and her husband Desai co-founded the company in 1980 in their apartment in Troy, Michigan.  

2) Born in Kenya and raised in India, Desai met Sethi in the US while he was working as a programmer for IT firm Tata Consultancy Services. 

3) The couple started out with an initial investment of just $2,000 and they pulled in a mere $30,000 in first-year sales

4) Syntel generated revenues of $924 million in 2017. Its operating margin -- underlying profits measured as a proportion of sales -- stood at 25 per cent. 

 
5) In 2016, Desai and Sethi jointly came 85th on Forbes' list of the richest tech billionaires in the US. They were dropped off the list in 2017.    

6) In Forbes Magazine's 2016 list of the 400 richest Americans, Desai and Sethi came 274th in the list, six spots below where they stood in 2015, with a net worth of $2.5 billion. They were dropped off the list in 2017. 

7) Earlier this month, Neerja Sethi made it to the Forbes' list of America's 60 richest self-made women. Sethi has been ranked 21st with a net worth of a billion dollars. 

8) Desai ranked 1999 in Forbes' 2018 list of the world's billionaires with a net worth of $1.1 billion. His real-time net worth as of July 24, 2018, was $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.     

10) The company employs 23,000 engineers in 30 countries. It has around 18,000 employees in India, constituting roughly a little over 78 per cent of its global workforce. 

11) North America accounts for close to 90 per cent of Syntel's gross revenues. 

12) The banking, financial services and insurance sector is the biggest focus area for Syntel, which gets over 45 per cent of its revenues from the segment.    

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