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‘It’s something he would have loved’: $325,000 to Campaign for Concordia to support women in finance

Karna Gupta honours late brother’s legacy at the John Molson School of Business
October 20, 2021
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By Charlie Fidelman

Karna-brothers_1600 Karna Gupta (right) established the Jaydeep Gupta Bursary for Women in Finance at Concordia in honour of his late brother, Jaydeep.

Karna and Jaydeep Gupta were born six years apart. Both graduated from Concordia University — Karna, BComm 77, MBA 79, and Jaydeep, BA 82, MBA 84. Both went on to distinguished international careers — one in the tech sector and the other in banking.  

Sadly, Jaydeep Gupta died suddenly in March 2020 at the age of 61. At the time, he was Standard Chartered Bank of UK’s regional head of retail banking for Africa and Middle East. His older brother said he was a well respected banker who “left his fingerprint across several continents.”

To honour his brother’s legacy of supporting diversity and equality, Karna Gupta is now giving more than $325,000 to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen. Now. The Jaydeep Gupta Bursary for Women in Finance will fund two undergraduate bursaries at the John Molson School of Business in perpetuity.

As an advocate for gender parity in the workforce, especially in finance, his brother Jaydeep would have appreciated the endowment, Karna Gupta says.

Karna Gupta, wears a suit, sitting on a bright orange chair “I've been lucky to have good mentors and I’m mindful that you need to find a way to give back to society," says Karna Gupta, BComm 77, MBA 79.

"It’s something he would have loved. He always championed career opportunities for youth and particularly women."

Anne-Marie Croteau, dean of John Molson, thanked Gupta for his contribution to both the success of women in finance and his brother’s legacy.

“These generous undergraduate bursaries will enable worthy recipients to focus on their studies rather than on financial constraints,” Croteau says, “and to maintain the academic excellence that will jump-start their careers in finance.”   

Concordia connections

The endowment is also a tribute to the Gupta brothers’ appreciation for their alma mater.

Karna Gupta came to Montreal with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from India in 1975. Based on incentives from Gunther Brink, BComm 56, then dean of the Concordia’s Faculty of Commerce, and a few professors, he enrolled at the university. Jaydeep followed in his footsteps.

However, the connection to Concordia goes deeper.

“I also met my wife, Maria Pia Fusco [BComm 78], a Canadian from Saint-Leonard, so Concordia yielded more than a degree, it created a 43-year partnership,” Gupta says.

A love story? “Yes, that too.”

Jaydeep Gupta Jaydeep Gupta, BA 82, MBA 84, was a respected banker who advocated for gender parity in the workforce. He died suddenly in March 2020 at age 61.

Dean Brink published Gupta’s thesis in his book, Business Policy in Canada. “He was a huge mentor,” he recalls. "I’ve been lucky to have good mentors throughout my life and I’m mindful that you need to find a way to give back to society."

The employment network within Concordia led to a position at Bell Canada. When he left Bell 20 years later, Gupta served as the company’s vice-president of product development.

He then held several senior roles in Canadian and international companies, including chief marketing officer, Americas, for Comverse Technology, Inc., CEO of Certicom, and CEO of ITAC (TECHNATION). Gupta was also one of the founding directors, and then chair, of ventureLAB Canada.

Gupta also brought his vast business acumen to the boards of Voti Detection, Export Development Canada, Baylis Medical and FinDev Canada, among others aligned with his expertise and interests.

FinDev, for example, promotes women in business and female employment in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, “where investments generally don’t go,” Gupta says. “We do social investment, which is consistent with my personal passion.”

Given his extensive experience in finance and business, Gupta is often sought out as an advisor. In keeping with his ethics, he says his advice for young companies is all on a pro bono basis. “Buy me a cup of coffee and you can hear my ideas.”

 

To contribute to Karna Gupta’s support of the Campaign for Concordia, visit engage.concordia.ca/donate.



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