This couple, which met and started going steady during their IIT Delhi days, has a fascinating story to tell. It is full of struggles, great memories, fun anecdotes and, at times, compromises and sacrifices. After 28 years in the corporate sector in India and the US, a major event changed the lives of Jayant and Punita Kumar-Sinha — Jayant was elected as an MP from Hazaribagh and was made minister of state for finance in the Central government. While Jayant decided to take a political plunge early this year, leaving behind an illustrious career as an investment and strategy consultant with firms such as McKinsey & Co and the Omidyar Network, Punita, who has had an equally successful career in finance and investment advisory, is still sorting things out — as an investing consultant, she can work either from the US or from India. But nothing has changed the love they have for each other.
Jayant and Punita complement each other perfectly. If Jayant is calm and patient, Punita is vibrant and chatty. While Jayant says Punita is practical, she believes Jayant is idealistic and attracts chaos, which is similar to his current profession. They are passionate about finance and stocks (no surprises there), travelling and collecting antique pieces. The walls in their home stand testimony to that. They have two children — the older one is 24, working for a private equity firm in the US, while the younger one is 13, attending school in Delhi. They spent a large portion of their professional careers in the US after moving there in 1985 but moved to Delhi right after Jayant won the elections. Until recently, holidaying was a bi-annual affair and the couple fondly remembers the great time they had in Angkor Wat, France, Mauritius and Goa — where they went after a hectic election campaign.
When did the two of you meet for the first time?
Punita: We met in the first week of college at IIT Delhi.