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Chandigarh

Posted at: Feb 28, 2019, 8:13 AM; last updated: Feb 28, 2019, 8:13 AM (IST)

Internet pioneer with artistic touch

A big picture person, Atul Gupta had grand ideas and these would often be translated into reality by his team. With an ability to get along with many, he was a perfectionist. As a result, many who worked with him went on to achieve great success, some establishing IT companies of their own.
Internet pioneer with artistic touch
Atul Gupta

Roopinder Singh

You are what you are remembered as. Atul Gupta was an evangelist, whether it was the world of graphic design, IT, education, art or organic farming. He spoke with evangelical zeal about his latest endeavours. Yes, he was also a successful entrepreneur, one who took roads less travelled. Atul was so sure of his ideas and projections that you tended to go along with him and emerged richer from his experience. Unfortunately, we lost him at an early age of 54. He passed away on February 22.

Atul was one of those people who could not be easily slotted, and this was his greatest strength. He studied BSc from Kirori Mal College in Delhi and then joined the Government College of Art in Chandigarh from which he did Bachelors in Fine Arts. Concurrently, he started Pugmarks Design Studio, which became Pugmarks InterWeb, an Internet hosting and web development company, by 1996. Soon it was the go-to place for publishing houses and news organisations, developing and hosting websites of The Tribune, India Today, Malayala Manorama and many others. Anuja Lath, his wife and partner, was equally hands-on, and together with other partners, they soon turned Pugmarks into a company to reckon with.

Later, he and Anuja would start RedAlkemi, with him as the CEO. Art was to be seen in their endeavours — be it in the design of their office, websites or in recent years, converting their farmland into an art retreat and organic farm. Atul and Anuja worked hard on The Tribune website, when we launched it in 1998. Their ability to convert ideas into the bits and bytes required for the Internet shaped, in no small measure, the website that was widely appreciated for its organisation and ease of navigation.

A big picture person, Atul had grand ideas and these would often be translated into reality by Anuja and their team. While an affable person with an ability to get along with many, he was a perfectionist. As a result, many who worked with him went on to achieve great success, some establishing IT companies of their own.

Atul devoted much of the recent years in developing a piece of land he had bought on the outskirts of Chandigarh into his version of paradise. The Aura farm became Aura Pottery Retreat where artists gathered. Organic farming too was an activity he devoted his time to. A stroke in 2017 impacted his life, but he regrouped his way to normalcy.

Atul, with his wife Anuja and their daughters Ada & Anya, lived and worked at the farm, which was their home and retreat. The scientist with an artistic touch will be remembered by many in Chandigarh for both his work and personality.

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