Sarvshreshth Gupta, an India-born alumnus of Delhi Public School and University Of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, started working as an analyst for Goldman Sachs in their San Francisco office in September 2014. It was a dream job at a prestigious Wall Street firm for the young man.
On 17 April, he was found dead in the parking lot of his apartment. The circumstances of his death are not clear and the San Francisco medical officer's office is investigating the incident and is yet to announce the cause of death.
After the news of his death came to light in a New York Times story on Tuesday, there is now renewed attention on the pressure and working conditions faced by young bankers and analysts working in sought after and remunerative jobs in the US' financial services industry.
A month before his death, Gupta had resigned from Goldman Sachs. But he was asked to reconsider, and he did, according to details gleaned from a blogpost his father Sunil Gupta posted on Medium. His user account has been subsequently deleted and post is no longer available on the platform.
This January, Gupta had complained about the the rising amount of work coming his way, leaving him with no time for other pursuits.
“This job is not for me. Too much work and too little time," he said, according to his father's anguished post.
In March, Gupta quit Goldman, against his father's wishes. His father, Sunil, asked him about his plans.
"Well, I will rejuvenate myself, eat home cooked food, walk and go to gym, and finally work with and expand our school,' he replied.
Not something I wanted him to do, at this stage of his career. I desired, that he should complete his one year at Goldman Sachs, learn something about corporate life and then decide.
By a quirk of fate, he was asked by his company to reconsider his resignation and under pressure from me, he rejoined,” his father wrote in the post.
Goldman employees said he asked for his job back, writes Andrew Ross Sorkin in Dealbook. When he returned, he was put on a reduced schedule and met with Goldman's employee assistance counsellors about dealing with stress and balancing work and life.
But Gupta — who worked in the bank's telecom, media and technology group — soon found his schedule getting as busy as before as the firm's deal business expanded. All-nighters and 100-hour workweeks had become the norm.
A month later, he called up his parents in New Delhi at 2.40 am local time.
"It is too much. I have not slept for two days, have a client meeting tomorrow morning, have to complete a presentation, my VP is annoyed and I am working alone in my office," Gupta told his father, according to the essay.
Sunil asked him to apply for leave and fly to India. And told him that if his leave was not sanctioned, "Tell them to consider this as your resignation letter."
Gupta told his father that he would finish his work in about an hour, go to his apartment which was half a mile from his office block and return in the morning.
He never did.
Later that morning, at 6:40, Gupta's body was found in the parking lot next to his apartment building and was declared dead, according to police officials. The apparent cause was that he fell from the building.
The anguished father, who blames himself for pushing his son to continue working, wrote a heart wrenching post on Medium, tracing his joy from the time he was born, and the close bond he shared with his son.
The dawn never came in our lives, my sonny boy, never reached his apartment. A monster, a devil in his giant motor vehicle, sniffed the life out of him.
My son, whose bones, blood and flesh were my very own, was victim of a cruel, momentary lapse of an individual, who too, is surely somebody's son.
The San Fransisco police may finally trace him, the law may give him the severest of punishments, but, who will give me my son back?
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