My name: Neha Gupta
My company: True Office Learning
My title: Chief Executive Officer
My location: New York City
Best business advice I ever received: There are two that I received from mentors that I always remember and strongly live by.
The first: It’s always about people, and people never forget how you make them feel. Motivating individuals, building trust within an organization, and building deep relationships with your customers is paramount to being successful in business. Amidst the myriad of transactions, negotiations, and financial analysis, this advice has allowed me to focus on the most important part of any interaction and decision—the people.
The second: If you wait for 100 percent of the information to make a decision or take action, you are already behind. Making decisions in tough or ambiguous circumstances is critical for ensuring success. In our ever-changing world, individuals and organizations can suffer greatly from analysis paralysis if the focus shifts from taking actions to attaining certainty—which, given the dynamic nature of the business world, is essentially false precision. This advice has always helped remind me to steer clear of that and keep moving forward.
Most daring personal career move: My most daring personal career move was to leave a leadership role at Citigroup to join a startup and bring the True Office Learning vision to life. I went from overseeing functions for a 17,000-person organization within Citi to being in an 11-person startup working to build the next-generation enterprise education technology platform. I knew it would be a big culture shift that would require me to leverage not only existing skills, but develop new ones, as I would be working in a very close-knit environment. The passion for the mission of moving learning forward and the belief in the founding team made it a lot easier to make this transition. I remember saying to a friend that from a career perspective, this will either be the best move I make, or the worst. Either way, the one thing I was sure of was that it would be a lot of fun.
What I’m most proud of: I am most proud of being able to share some of the basic privileges of education and independence I received growing up in America with young people around the world that are not as fortunate. In addition to supporting organizations that run residential schools in rural areas and focus on children’s causes, I find the work of actively mentoring young women looking to make their mark against all odds and social norms most gratifying. Giving young people a fair opportunity to be their best selves as they grow and evolve, and knowing that I could contribute to that journey, is what I’m most proud of.
Current workplace challenge: Having a multi-generational workforce. With organizations increasingly becoming globally distributed and the workforce being a mix of Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y (Millennial) individuals, it is becoming very challenging for organizations to build a common value system and create tools that can cater to each group effectively. The one-size-fits-all approach that has traditionally worked is simply no longer yielding results. This puts a much greater burden on the organization to identify ways to adapt every business process to each population’s needs. Fortunately, technology can help create the right tools that personalize the experience to each user and help attain maximum effectiveness.
Something people don’t know about me: I’m classically trained in Kathak, an Indian dance form that is the ballet equivalent in India. Expression through music and movement is something that gives me immense joy, and I am two years away from having a master’s degree in the dance form.