Mr Prateek Gupta currently serves as the Non-executive Vice Chairman of Ushdev International Ltd (UIL), the flagship of the UD Group. UIL is one of India’s largest companies in the metal trading sector, with its core businesses in Metal Trading and Wind Power generation.
Mr Gupta was born on 29th July 1979 in Mumbai. He studied at G D Somani Memorial School and completed his graduation from HR College in the year 2001. Always eager to be as dynamic as his father, he started his career and learning at the young age of 15.
Prateek began his career with UIL in 1996 as a trainee where he gained invaluable experience across a variety of functions within the organization including accounting, operations, trading and legal departments. He was made Vice President of UIL in 1997 under a carefully laid out succession plan within which he immediately began focusing on improving processes and expanding capacity. During his tenure he has led UIL through a transformative period in which a shift in its business model has led to 2500 times growth.
Since taking on a leadership role at UIL, following the passing of his father, Mr Vijay Gupta, he has assumed greater involvement in the development and execution of the organisation’s strategic direction. His entrepreneurial spirit can be found in his tenacity for growth and the success he has enjoyed in implementing a clear plan and direction to support his vision for UIL’s international expansion and diversification of its business lines globally.
Prateek successfully diversified UD Group’s business portfolio, and expanded the trading profile of the Group from predominately steel products to the trading of non-ferrous metals. His foresight helped UIL survive the slow-down in the steel industry largely unscathed. Additionally, his diversification plans played a critical role in helping the business attain higher trading margins, leading to exponential growth in EBIDTA in spite of a drop in margins for ferrous flat products. With this change in strategy, UIL’s sales grew significantly by 100% and as a result, the business was ranked 6th by Business India magazine in 2009.
In addition to extending his clear vision of UIL’s metals trading side of the business, Prateek’s leadership was also tantamount to the success of UIL’s ambitious 11-windmills wind power project in Tamil Nadu in 1997, which was completed in a record breaking 67 working days.
The momentum did not stop there – UIL led the charge in setting up an award winning wind power project – a 95 MW wind farm project spread across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra & Rajasthan. The project was awarded Best Performing Wind Farm in the 2 MW category by the Indian Wind Power Association for several years in a row.
Under Prateek’s helm, UIL grew to become one of India’s largest companies in the metal trading sector, with its core businesses in Metal Trading and Wind Power generation. These developments did not go unrecognised. UIL was included in Forbes Asia’s “Best under a billion dollar company” list in the year 2010. The Group was also awarded as the Best Trader-Exporter (Large) at the ECGC-D&B Indian Exporters’ Excellence Awards in 2012, and named the 4th Fastest Growing Company in India by Outlook Magazine in 2013.
On top of his commitment to UIL, Prateek also possesses a strong commitment to the elevation of the Indian economy as well as India’s presence in the international business arena. Beyond this he believes strongly in contributing back to society in ways that he can best lend his entrepreneurial and leadership strengths. As such, he previously served as the Co-Chairman of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s high profile Power and Energy Conservation Committee.
Looking beyond the Indian shores, Mr Gupta’s foresight and vision also led to UIL inaugurating its first wholly owned subsidiary UIL Singapore Pte Ltd in September 2009. Within a short span of three months, UIL established its second wholly owned subsidiary UIL Hong Kong Ltd. Within four years of incorporation and Prateek vision, UIL Singapore Pte Ltd was included in the Singapore 1000 Annual ranking based on its turnover. In 2012, the Group further expanded its presence in the Middle East and Europe by establishing offices in key markets like Dubai and London.
Under Prateek’s leadership, UIL received awards from both leading international and regional business authorities.
UIL has been ranked 120th in top 500 companies for the year 2013-14 in India by Businessworld in November 2014 and listed as one of India’s Top 500 Companies 2014 by Dun & Bradstreet. UIL has been ranked 57th in the Elite 100 category in Dalal Street Investment Journal in May 2014, 6th position in the league of Wealth Creators for investors by Money Life Magazine in their January 2014 edition, and 4th by Business India Magazine in net sales growth for the year 2013, in their November – December 2013 edition.
Furthermore, UIL is ranked amongst Asia’s top 200 most Promising Brand in 2012-13 by World Consulting & Research Corporation (WCRC) and has been ranked no. 4 amongst the 30 fastest growing companies in India by Outlook Business magazine in their May 2013 edition. In November 2012, UIL was awarded with Dun and Bradstreet ECGC Indian Exporters Excellence Award as “Best Trader – Exporter” in the large exporter category.
In addition to accolades accorded to UIL, Prateek was also recognised as one of Asia’s top 50 Most Promising Leaders in 2012-13 by World Consulting & Research Corporation (WCRC). In 2014, he was also awarded “Pride of India” by the All India Nationality Unity Council for his outstanding achievements and services to the Indian society.
Although Mr Gupta currently holds a non-executive role, he is still very much involved in the daily running of the Group’s operations. He is currently spearheading an initiative in collaboration with management board to elevate the Group into a USD10 Billion business by the year 2020.
In August 2013, Mr Gupta enrolled himself for the OPM (Owners Management Program) at Harvard Business School (HBS). The knowledge he has acquired from his studies there has also helped him further drive the success of UIL. He graduates from HBS in August 2015.