Homemaker becomes an Influential CEO: The Wonder Story of Anasuya Gupta
Anasuya Gupta is not an unknown name today. She is presently the Chairperson & Managing Director of CICO Technologies Ltd.CICO Technologies Ltd is one of the leading construction chemicals manufacturers in the country, with the oldest brand CICO in India. Started her career as a teacher, but subsequently became and continued to be a homemaker for most of her life. Incepted by Mr. N R Gupta in the year 1930, she took the responsibility of CICO Technologies Ltd. as a third-generation entrepreneur and proved herself as a perfect leader. In spite of many successes and accolades, Anasuya is a down to earth person. She came into this business accidently due to the passing on of the promoter and her husband Mr. Amit Gupta. It is a fair fact that Anasuya’s achievements speak of a lot of hard work and, most important, of having delivered on all the responsibilities entrusted to her. She comes across as a very sound, solid leader with a bright mind and is a very good communicator. All this makes her a very valuable person for this profession.
She also pursues other interests like golf and horse racing. She enjoys singing Rabindra Sangeet and old popular numbers both Hindi and English. She is a firm believer in gender equality. In fact, Anasuya’s vision is centered on the empowerment of women and equal opportunities for women as men and works towards this with various organizations. She also works for raising awareness for organ donation through the Amit Gupta Foundation. As the MD and promoter of third generation enterprise, she takes responsibility to ensure that families which are directly and indirectly involved with the business have a progressive and fruitful life. The construction sites and structures that they work with are “Future-Proofed” in keeping with their tagline, ensuring longevity and durability and that the buildings and human lives are protected.
One of our Editors, in conversation with Mrs. Anasuya Gupta
TCM: What was your dream as a business lady?
Anasuya:When I started out in 2008, it was to see the company and brand continue to be the top of mind recall and ensure the continuity of the legacy and contribute to the betterment of lives that we serve.
TCM: What is your greatest professional accomplishment till date?
Anasuya:I had never thought of this one, but I think to buy back 45% of the company’s shareholding, which was with the venture capital partners can be rated as one of the top achievements. It also means a lot to me; given the circumstances under which I took over to maintain the leadership position in the industry.
TCM: Have you ever failed in your initiatives? What have you learnt from your failures?
Anasuya:Of course. How can anyone or any enterprise not fail? Not once but many times. Each failure makes me more resilient, drives me further to achieve, having rectified the wrong and also to be calmer and thinking when approaching a different situations. And most importantly teaches me acceptance of any given situation or people irrespective of whether it agrees with me or not.
TCM: What are your ideals?
Anasuya:The value of honesty, compassion and courage of conviction and to be able to show up and fight for what I believe is right are my guiding principles.
TCM: How many hours a day you work on an average?
Anasuya:There are no fixed hours. It ranges from four to twelve and depends on what is at hand.
TCM: What is the best decision you’ve ever made?
Anasuya:To have taken on the challenge of running CICO inspite of all the odds.
TCM: What stimulated your ideas to start a new business venture or to bring significant changes in an existing business/at work place?
Anasuya:As I said I like to stand up for what I feel is right. There were instances where I felt that systems, methods that worked with Mr. Amit Gupta would not work under my leadership. My attempt and endeavour has always been to ensure that the reputation of the brand and the organization is supreme and the contribution to society it has always made is maintained. Therefore I made those decisions with the end goal in mind.
TCM:What effective strategies you have implemented/initiatives you have taken to achieve success?
Anasuya:I think ours was a home grown organization which was people centric. It was always driven by decisions based on experience and knowledge. Since I possessed neither brought in systems, revamped and upgraded IT, brought in stringent HR measures which I think has so far paid off. This is an ongoing process and the goal is yet very far.
TCM:How do you define success?What is your take on the ways to achieve long term success?
Anasuya:Success to me is self-satisfaction. When you can go to bed saying that what you set out to do for the day, whatever it may be from eating the one dish that you were yearning for, to successfully closing a deal is a huge achievement. It’s the entire gamut and not necessarily measured by the organizations balance sheet. Success, to me also means that if I am able to touch some lives and make a difference in the course of their journey. Success to me cannot be defined by long or short term yardsticks. It is to do what you have set out to do to the best of your ability. It’s an ongoing process.
TCM:Please tell us about your future plans.
Anasuya:To handover a more proactive organization than when I took over to the next generation – that is at the moment, my plan, as vague as it may sound. For this there are various parameters that my team which with our partners are working on relentlessly. We are determined to spread our wings geographically with improved product qualities and superior technologies.
TCM:Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Anasuya: Every efficient home-maker and mother. If I can replicate all those qualities to the place of work, I can pat myself on the back. So a big shout out to all my friends and family whose homes and children have carved my ideas of running the business and my life.
TCM:Whom do you attribute your success to?
Anasuya:To the entire CICO family. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude without a lump in my throat. They are a phenomenal team and my two children Ashmita & Abhiroop and am so much richer for each and every one of them being in my life.
TCM:Do you think your personal life is affected by your professional life? How?
Anasuya:I don’t think so. On the contrary, I think it has been enriched. I am able to manage time, give my best to my family and friends. Business has taught me “efficiency” which helps me in my personal life immensely.