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Shiv Kumar Gupta (1930-2017)

University of Findlay professor was key in developing business college

Shiv Kumar Gupta, a long-time economics and marketing professor at the University of Findlay who had a global eye for business, died Nov. 4 at his residence. He was 87.

Family did not immediately know the cause of death. He was getting over a slight cold but did not go to see a doctor, said his son, Nirmal Kumar.

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Gupta

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Mr. Gupta, a native of New Delhi, served as a faulty member in the College of Business at the University of Findlay since 1970. When he began teaching at the university as an assistant professor of business administration, the College of Business had only eight faculty members and just 800 students enrolled at then Findlay College.

“Dr. Gupta was a beloved member of the University of Findlay community for more than 45 years,” said a letter written to faculty and staff by university President Katherine Fell. “During that time, he had a transformational impact upon the lives of countless students and colleagues. We will miss his dedication, his kindness, and his wisdom.”

He was instrumental in developing the College of Business and many of its offerings, including the marketing, finance, and the Master of Business Administration programs.

He “technically” retired in 2015, but he taught one class at the university this past summer, his son said. He was planning on teaching another in the spring.

Mr. Kumar said his father loved teaching the subjects, but even more so, he loved seeing his students succeed. His father frequently traveled the world and frequently took students and faculty with him so they could see how people in other places ran their businesses.

Mr. Gupta also led the Students in Free Enterprise team to winning 14 regional championships and six national championships. He also established a highly successful marketing club.

Mr. Gupta frequently did research on how businesses could improve or better market their products. Additionally, he was a consultant focused on economic development for a quality of life study for the city of Findlay.

“He is credited with helping Findlay city government and local businesses improve their services and operations,” Ms. Fell wrote in her letter. “He helped establish Findlay’s Free Enterprise Zone, something he characterized as the ‘backbone’ of the city’s success. As part of the effort, he led a research project on the quality of life in Findlay, which ultimately helped lure the first Japanese joint-venture company to the area.”

In India, Mr. Gupta worked in business and marketing and he began a concept similar to a membership-only warehouse club, his son said.

“The whole free enterprise — he always supported it and he always encouraged people to go down that path,” his son said. “As a country, we were better off because of everyone’s entrepreneurship.”

He was born April 16, 1930, and came to the United States in August, 1965 to continue his education at the University of Dayton. His wife and children followed him the following year. The family moved to Findlay to be in a quieter town so they could better adjust to their new lifestyle, said his son.

He was proceeded in death by his wife, Elizabeth “Heather,” in 2001.

He is survived by his sons, Nirmal Kumar, Vimal Kumar, and Kamal Kumar; daughters, Vinita Samaniego, Rita Yadav, and Anita Kromer; 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the University of Findlay in the new College of Business. Reservations are requested and can be made online at www.findlay.edu.

Memorial contributions may be sent to one of the scholarships Mr. Gupta established at the University of Findlay — the Shiv K. Gupta Scholarship Endowment Fund, the Professor Shiv K. Gupta Faculty Chair in the College of Business Endowment, the Gupta Business Faculty Global Studies Endowment, or the Elizabeth S. and Professor Shiv Gupta Award for Excellence in Teaching. For more information, visit the university’s website.

Contact Allison Reamer at areamer@theblade.com, 419-724-6506, or on Twitter @AllisonRBlade.

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