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  • Max Lisowski

Armaan Gupta: An entrepreneur with a love for the arts

Illinois native and second year student at Iowa State, Armaan Gupta shares his entrepreneurial experience, thoughts on Student Government, his conservative views and his love for poetry.

Gupta began his journey as an entrepreneur from his time in elementary school. Selling pens, pencils and phones to students who had theirs taken away during class, he always found an opportunity to help others while chasing his entrepreneurial passions.

Always looking for opportunities to grow as an entrepreneur, Gupta began to run student hackathons so they can display their coding prowess. After running three and because of the arrival of COVID-19, he quickly realized he needed to move on a new venture to capture his interest.

At the age of 15 years old, Gupta started a company called Kreative. “It’s essentially a holding company for all my little weird projects I have. My goal was to one day build a multinational conglomerate, similar to the Virgin Group. We’re really any company that does a lot of different things.” Gupta said.

He mentioned he cannot focus on one thing for too long, so jumping around from project to project is his normal stream. The opportunity to do a lot of different things, such as the hackathons he hosted in the past, is important to Gupta because he loves the chaos of his workflow.

"We only got a small amount of time on this planet, so we might as well use it productively or as productively as we can."

With a sporadic yet focused nature, Gupta then began to involve himself with Student Government as a College of Business Senator. Last year he attended meetings, but after a few, he decided it was not something he wanted to be a part of.

“[Student Government] is a lot of resolutions and a lot of telling what we think we should do versus what we can do,” Gupta said. “So I’ve contemplated the idea of running for President, right. And the only way I’d do that is if I had the most of the wall campaign.”

Opportunistic in his approach, Gupta mentioned trying to legalize the use of certain substances on campus, or even bringing back VEISHEA to once again celebrate Iowa State University in its entirety. Gupta believes that the Student Government needs to do something different. It seems that every election runs on the same set of basics. While things like keeping student living affordable is important, these have become expectations year after year, so students need to be more ambitious and set their goals higher.

“If we took the collective energy of 33,000 students on campus, and we took all that energy and propelled it straight towards one big off-the-wall goal, then that’s a productive use of student government,” said Gupta. “My life is dictated by return on investment. We only got a small amount of time on this planet, so we might as well use it productively or as productively as we can. So If I’m going to do something that’s as demanding as the president for Student Government, I better be able to accomplish useful, meaningful things.”

Gupta also shared his passion for politics. Specifically, he became involved with conservative politics on campus. Currently he is the president of Turning Point USA, and former president of the Lincoln Highway Republicans, but he left that group because he did not care much for campaign work.

He has now created his own political organization– a nonpartisan group called Americans United which is a 501(c)(4). Currently his organization is working on finding innovative solutions to problems around the community that can be set into motion by local legislation. For example, Americans United is working to end parking minimums in the city of Ames and exploring the idea of using rank choice voting during election day.

While Gupta spends a lot of his time as an entrepreneur and in politics, he has a passion for poetry. Some of his favorite poets include Charles Bukowski, Edgar Allen Poe and CS Lewis. While he thinks that their work is excellent, he also believes that good poetry can come from any poet.

Lunch with Hades by Armaan Gupta

“Ironically, what I found on my little journey to reading poetry is that it’s not really about the poet, it’s about the poem,” said Gupta. More specifically, he enjoys reading on the topic of love.

One of his favorite poems is “To Dorothy” by Marvin Bell which Gupta knows is a love poem to Bell’s wife, Dorothy. The poem touches on beauty in the sense that it can be imperfect— making love strongest when those imperfections are accepted and appreciated. It also touches on the irrationality of those who are in love and how we can often be drunk on the thought of it.

“I think that poetry gives you a blank canvas to paint emotions with words, you know, because I think mediums with the written word are the most impactful,” Gupta said. It is a way to express how you feel when your feelings can’t be contained, especially on the topic of love. What he thinks is most beautiful about poetry is the way people can explain how they feel with such a limited amount of words.

Because poetry has become a more important part of Gupta’s life allowing him to express himself freely, he began writing himself last semester. He started by trying to write something down everyday but quickly realized that he needed to intermittently write when he felt most inspired. Recognizing that writers’ block is real, he now writes notes on his phone when something comes to mind. Much to his surprise, he still writes about three to five poems per week.

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