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Striking a deal: From $2,000 to $2 billion

Bharat Desai and wife Neerja Sethi sell Syntel to French IT firm Atos SE for $3.4 billion


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It’s been a tumultuous few years for Indian-American couple Bharat Desai and Neerja Sethi. But the tide seems to be turning in their favour.

After being in and out of the Forbes India Rich List for the past few years, Desai, currently ranked 1999th on Forbes’s billionaire list, could see his wealth swell considerably in a few months. Desai and Sethi sold their company Syntel to French IT firm Atos SE for $3.4 billion. The deal is likely to be completed by the end of 2018.

The couple which holds 57 percent in Syntel is likely to pocket $2 billion from the deal. Syntel, which had $923 million in revenue in fiscal 2017, was started by Desai and Sethi from their apartment in Troy, Michigan, with just $2,000.

Between 2001 and 2015, Syntel had a dream run on the bourses, clocking over 1,760 percent growth in its price. However, by 2016, the stock plunged, after it declared a special cash dividend of $15 per share.