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Community > Ambarish Gupta
Ambarish Gupta

Ambarish Gupta

CEO and Founder

Knowlarity

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Ambarish Gupta is a member of:

startupcity - Expert
Current Job Profile
I am the CEO and Founder of Knowlarity. I provide the overall direction of the company.  Specifically I direct the marketing, sales efforts in the company and manage investor relationship.
Leadership qualities
I read about the Serenity Prayer as a child – “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”. I think this is fundamental to leadership.

Organization is made of people. The leader must know what the people in the organization CAN do and NOT do. Pushing people to do things they are not ready will is a sure recipe for failure. I feel that most of the times leaders are playing either too safe – underestimating what the people in the company are capable of doing or overestimating – pushing people too hard to failure. The difference requires very deep knowledge of the industry, organization culture, processes and the people running the organization.

I feel that having this knowledge and wisdom about the organization the leader is leading is single most important requirement for successful leadership.
Ensuring growth
Introspection helps greatly. It is very easy to get carried away with the daily hustle and bustle of running a company where there is no “looking back”. I spent personal time in “second-guessing” my decisions about myself and the path I have chosen. This allows discoveries about my blind spots. My commitment to accept my failures to work on those allows me to continue to become better than what I was a year back.
I am a constant work in progress. Hopefully working towards a better me.

My advice to upcoming leaders
I think practice of humility and courage is incredibly important. These are two small words but are very important in the growth of any aspiring management leader. Humility allows you to constantly discover new areas of opportunities for your own development. The courage allows you to embark on the journeys which you are not yet ready for but are sure that you will prepare yourself on the way. A fast growth in the career would require such leaps in faith about yourself.
I was quite convinced about my entrepreneurial destiny when I graduated from IIT Kanpur in 2000. I started by first venture in 2003. I was not yet ready for the starting a company. The company failed but taught me valuable lessons on the gaps I had. I understood technology but had no knowledge of the business. I had no network of people I could bounce off my ideas. I did not have access to capital.  The experience helped me stretch myself. It is important. I went back and had an MBA and worked on my blind spots. I started Knowlarity in 2009. This time I did not repeat my mistakes.

It is important to courage to stretch yourself for things you are not ready, humility to accept your failures and more courage to restart the journey again.

Influenced by
There has been various personal and professional influences in my life that help form me. Professionally and somewhat personally, I am influenced by Gandhi. I am impressed by how he was able to right assess that ability of us Indians to push for a non-violent revolution and be able to successfully drive it for next 15 years until we were able to clinch freedom from British.
Handling Grievances
We have a very decrentralized organization where I end up managing a group of 15 or so core members of the company who in turn manage the rest of the 200.
Managing 15 is not that difficult. Most of the issues are transactional grievances. Either the policies in the company or the regular management counseling solve the problem. At other times when the issues are beyond those, I end up using my personal influence to assuage the feelings.

Important career decision
After the MBA school I wanted to develop a deep understanding of the business from top-down point of the view. My decision to pursue career in Strategy Consulting was instrumental in helping me develop a very wide and thorough view of the various functions of the organization. This has allowed me to fill some of the gaps I had in my capability and build Knowlarity.
My views on India technical development
I think we are already on the way. We have Knowlarity, Freshdesk, Zoho, InMobi, Zomato, NewGen come out of India. We have another 100 waiting in the lurches. I think the coming 2010-2020 is going to be as much a “Indian IT product” companies decade as 2000 was IT Services, KPO and BPO decade.
My family background
I was born in Kanpur in a business family. We ran a business of jute bags. I spent my childhood in Kanpur and in Kolkata. I grew up in Kanpur and later joined IITK in 1996. I was the first person in my family pursue a professional career. I
 spent years living in Europe, Australia and US before finally coming back to India in 2009.

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