Profile of the Week – Ashish Gupta – The investment banker with a different drive!


We have all witnessed and heard of individuals, giving up their lucrative careers to embrace their entrepreneurial side; but this one is a little more thrilling. Ashish Gupta of Cougar Motorsport was an investment banker with the heart of a motorsports person.

It took him a while to materialize this passion into reality. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, becoming the director of AMRO Bank and joining Babcock & Brown India as an Executive Director – it was finally time to bring back his passion. He participated in his first motor rally in 2006 at the Rally Desert Storm, finishing third. Ashish then took on the gruelly tracks of the Himalayas in a Maruti Gypsy and participated in the Xtreme Raid De Himalaya in 2006, 2007 & 2008 as well as the Desert Storm in 2007, 2008 & 2009.

Finally, in 2009 Cougar Motorsports was created. Over 2 million rupees were invested by Ashish, his friends and colleagues, keen driving enthusiasts. With relentless determination, they brought on-board an experienced team to create an integrated platform for luxury driving expeditions and rallies. Desert Dash was the company’s first signature event. With a highly successful first event, there was no turning back for Ashish.

Since then, Ashish’s leadership has conceptualized over 87 events including motor rallies, self-driving expeditions throughout the country. However, combining the thrill of Motorsport with luxury was not an easy task. It took a lot of convincing and explaining by Ashish to get the corporate bigwigs who own premium cars & SUVs on his side.

After the popularity of the Desert Dash, Ashish introduced three more signature dashes – The Himalayan Dash, Coastal Dash and Sanctuary Dash. Aside from these events, Ashish has tied up with various renowned car manufacturers like Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Renault and Tata Motors to organize expeditions and off road driving events.

With many more big plans for Cougar Motorsports, Ashish wants to make his company a symbol of luxury and off-road driving experiences in India. They are on their way in becoming the choice for premium automobile manufacturers wanting to organize dynamic driving events for their customers and prospects. With such promising entrepreneurs venturing into thrilling sectors like Motorsports, who says India has a narrow startup ecosystem?


  • Don’t be afraid to do something niche and never done before
  • It’s never too late to pick up your passion and turn it into a business
  • If you love what you do, others will too

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