Manoj Gupta Bio
There’s a coiled refinement about Manoj Gupta as he sits before you. That sense of yoga relaxedness that smoothly flows over a mastery of getting things done—doing them well and creatively. Yet also always doing what is the right thing to do. Beginning with boyhood mentoring experiences, Mr. Gupta over his life has evolved a passionate drive that informs and energizes his ability to swiftly, elegantly inspire people and build teams that are exceptionally good at solving intricate multi-system problems. No challenge takes him to the point of giving up and just stopping. It can be a complex business or personnel problem or a controversial issue with a member of his family—he’ll stay with the problem patiently till its resolved. “Hopefully, with some wisdom,” he says and smiles. “I don’t push. It’s facilitating. Being a diplomat. Having a sense of modesty.”
Manoj Gupta, still on the young side of life, is now trekking far beyond base camp in the corporate Mt. Everest ascent. He’s the COO of Tescra, an 11-year-old very successful mid-size global solutions applications company with 800 employees in offices in the US, UK, Germany, Kenya and India. The Everest metaphor fits him perfectly. In mid 2013 he climbed Everest as part of a guided team up to 21,000 feet, to the base camp altitude. He made it up three quarters the way of the fabled mountain. Remarkably, he had no training for this. Just packed his gear and went. Met the challenge.
In 2012 Mr. Gupta co-founded Rockon Technologies, a world wide personal branding social community website for professional-level people looking to be seen as a complete person with rich life goals—not only defined by their professional persona, resume and vitae. Mr. Gupta’s idea for this personal branding was to include the individual’s passionate life interests and elements of their lives that make them a compelling person to work with or associate with on projects. Without this he says, “Many good people who are very good for a job are too quickly set aside, or are moved aside by people who can talk well but actually are a poorer person for the job or association. Good people get left behind. Bad people are promoted. Looking at the whole person and providing them tools and structure toward their goals—that’s what we’re doing.”
His career climb has been one of sizable leaps, not just stepping stones. His first job after college was teaching computer science in a small town north of New Delhi. After a year of teaching Mr. Gupta jumped into the world of global consulting, landing a job as a software consultant for a global Indian firm—including consulting for Price Waterhouse. He was fully immersed in a globalized view, honing his managerial and people skills and solving complex problems.
In 1993 Mr. Gupta made two very potent moves. He landed an ERP job with a U.S.-based boutique firm specializing in enterprise resource planning. The job required that he pack up from north India and move to southern California, to Los Angeles, California. There, he worked as part of the ERP team on the manufacturing side of McDonald Douglas—taking on very large problems of integrating systems not designed to be married together.
All these experiential climbs led to his position as COO of Tescra and co-founder of Rockon Technologies, the personal branding platform.
His early years and his executive managerial years combined to bring him to where he is now with Rockon Technologies.
Growing up outside New Delhi even in his first years of school he absorbed a few life-navigating lessons: “Don’t give up. Lots of hurdles and issues will hit you. Keep following the values you believe in. Be helpful to people. Do the right thing.” By the time he was ready to go to college Manoj Gupta was clear and steady in “Doing the right thing.” His personal sense of human values was still forming, but the base was bedrock.
The zeitgeists of personal branding, passionate life interests, problem solving, discerning a person’s fullest qualities, and building creative projects began with Mr. Gupta in his early years, back in high school. He’d just graduated. A business deal came along for him to work for a government organization. He found himself spending long hours, getting little sleep, skipping meals in organizing people, talking to people, transforming ways of marketing in neighborhoods and making profits. That first entrepreneurial fire and the satisfying exchange of people relationships never left him.
He then attended Delhi University as a mathematics masters candidate, doing well in his math and science course work, but mathematics wasn’t exciting him. The social/political life of the university did excite him. He was an activist among the social circles and taking psychology courses on the side as a personal interest. He began his first deeper thinking in problem-solving entrepreneurship: in the emerging interest of natural organic fertilizer he was looking at how to ship thousands of tons of cow dung as a business. He graduated from Delhi University with a Masters in Mathematics in 1986.
It was during the early 2000’s that he started privately thinking about personal branding for professionals. What would it take in terms of psychology and nurturing to foster the really good people, to give them a positive structure and the tools to advance? Thus, building a great team, and helping others. It wasn’t just the professional side he contemplated. It was the altruistic side as well. How to do well by these people he was meeting, interacting with and often seeing not well treated or not utilized?
Tescra—the company he helps lead as COO—became the laboratory to put into practice all the experience and workplace and psychology insights he’d garnered since his high school years.
In Rockon Mr. Gupta’s insights for education-work-and-life-passions as a whole view of a person are being applauded by focus groups, professional business coaches, working environment critics, and executive officers who are introduced to the site’s premise and features.
Mr. Gupta is currently integrating into the Rockon platform a range of very powerful support functions from outside experts to assist the personal branding site’s global membership.
What is a life interest to Mr. Gupta? He vividly defines it “As that part of your life that you can’t wholly function or survive without it. It’s part of your daily life. It’s an evolving life interest. Ask yourself: why did I go into that area? If it’s for making extra money or something mercenary, it’s not a life interest. And you never take a break from it. It’s something you can’t survive without it.” For instance in the mid 1990’s he was starting to study yoga postures and the Raja Yoga system of meditation. That’s never left him. Same with his interest in taking on impromptu super-challenges like climbing to Everest’s base camp.
Mr. Gupta defines himself as a very creative person by nature. “I like to create new projects, to take on new people issues or business issues. This includes social issues. I help in local community social issues, and I’d like to participate some day in a large scale, complex governance issue in India. Spirituality is very intimate and important to me. I need to connect inside myself with a meditation each morning followed by yoga postures. If I don’t do this, it makes my daily life very difficult.”