A constant believer of hope, a self-motivator, dedicated, curious, patient, daring, hardworking, sincere, and achiever, these are the quality a successful entrepreneur possesses. Meet Parag Gupta, CFO at Spectra, an extraordinary entrepreneur who sacrificed his well-paid job, well-established and settle lifestyle to create a mark in the digital world and build something bigger, construct something of his own.
Transitions which Paved the Way towards Success
After successfully accomplishing Chartered Accounting in the year 2002, Parag started his career with Dell International Services at Bangalore in Shared Services space and then travelled to the United Kingdom to transition AR accounting processes. A short stint of a year in the UK helped Parag to learn a lot about transitioning and offshoring processes effectively and soon he decided to move on to Washington Mutual Bank to expand his skills and put more knowledge into his bag of wisdom.
At Washington Mutual Bank, Parag worked in the sector of strategy and business delivery. While serving the company for four years, his career saw an exceptional transition. From there, he moved up from managing a 50-people single process to over 3000 people of multiple voice and non-voice functions over three different geographies. In the year 2008, Parag took a giant step in his career when he joined AT&T India in Delhi as the India CFO and worked on India entry strategy and telecom services.
The Daring Challenge which made his Foundations Strong
It was not easy, it was daring and it is apparent that hardly anybody would take such a risky call. Being the youngest CFO of AT&T in India at the age of 32 and with just six years of post-qualification experience is something beyond extraordinary. But the decision to move on from AT&T to a small startup called Nimbuzz and that too at a time when the existence of internet and mobile internet was itself in a state of question, was a daring step. Even though it was risky and people hardly knew about the internet economy, Parag saw the light of hope and made the move towards an unknown trail.
Parag further expresses his experience in his own words and states, “The time when I decided to move on from AT&T to a little-known startup called Nimbuzz, that too at a time when internet and mobile internet was almost nonexistent was a big risk, everyone I knew and discussed with, thought I was crazy in what I was doing, I was leaving the stability of world’s biggest telecom company for a startup which was funded with a few million dollars. If this startup did not work the way I thought it would, my career and all the hard work could have been gone.”
It was in 2011 when Parag joined the Naspers owned internet startup – Nimbuzz, a chat platform where he managed operation in three continents and then eventually sold it to a British company in 2015. In the same year, he joined Paypal as the India CFO in its nascent stage to work on the India entry planning and launch. And, a year later, for personal reasons, Parag decided to move back to Delhi in 2016 and then he joined Spectra as its CFO. And, with his vast and extensive experience of such serious roles in numerous prestigious companies, Parag intends to grow this company over five times in the next five years.
While talking about the factors which motivates him to take risks and move forward, Parag states, “I am a self-motivated person who firmly believes that if my biggest achievement in life is more than 18 months old then I am not doing myself justice, this continuous strive for improvement keeps me going and has helped me to take new risks in industries and job roles during the last 15 years.”
About the Innovative Company
With a mission to enable lives and journeys of individuals and businesses of urban India, to be more productive, progressive and fulfilling by providing them access to global standard broadband and other internet based services, Spectra is India’s first purely fiber optic based internet service provider. The company’s offerings include internet access, VoIP, digital infrastructure, cloud based solutions and media connectivity work seamlessly together to provide an unparalleled experience for homes and businesses.
While discussing the factors driving the driving the company towards an exceptional future, the CFO states, “An erstwhile 10 year old company which desperately required change and fast, we needed automation and digitization of process across the company to prepare for the sought out growth in customers. We needed to reinvent ourselves according to our vision to get in to new streams of businesses and customers. We have successfully completed the first phase of the plan, we rebranded ourselves, made existing financial processes more efficient, transparent, faster, accurate and inexpensive.”
Another side of the Leader
Parag Gupta, like any other successful entrepreneur, is a man of passions. But the difference lies in their taste of activities and choices of passions. Parag is definitely curious about the know-hows of technology, but what interests him more is travel and history. He further adds, “My aim in life is to be amongst the best in what I do and my professional goal is to build successful teams and businesses that thrive.”
And Parag’s advice to the budding entrepreneurs is, “Take calculated and learned decisions, learn from yours and others’ mistakes, understand the market and its dynamics, bet on people and not on ideas. I always tell me team that execution and relentless execution is the key to success.”