Hem Gupta founded ESD in 1967, after working for Perkins+Will and for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. ESD grew quickly. The firm became the largest MEP firm in Chicago within its first 10 years of existence, a position it still holds today. Why were clients so willing to work with Hem and his fledgling firm? “People tell me he was authentic, and it was impossible not to like him,” his son Raj Gupta said. “He was also a good engineer and a good businessman – it’s unusual to find all of these qualities in one person.” Hem Gupta passed away in February, 2017 at age 85, 50 years after founding the company that he steered to great success.