He entered the appointed meeting area looking every bit calm, fresh much like someone who just came in from a vacation. But as he shook our hand and introduced himself, we found out that his day had long started, way before our lunch. Sanjay Gupta casually told us he just came from the neighboring function room, where his company is a participant to an event, Call Center Week Philippines. Gupta is the managing director for India, ASEAN and the Middle East of Aspect Software, a leader in customer engagement solutions to contact centers around the world. Based in Singapore, Gupta says his work on a regular basis, takes him to different parts of the world including the Philippines.
Aspect Software helps enterprise contact centers deliver superior customer experiences through a single software platform. Acknowledged as one of the global leaders in customer engagement solutions, their unified interaction management, work force optimization and back-office solutions are used by their clients in the aviation, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and retail industries.
Gupta says Aspect Software has been in the Philippines for more than ten years now. He says “70-percent of our businesses are run by partners and that’s how we grow in the Philippines.” He adds that majority of their clients in the country are in banking and finance—including the top two banks, while at the same time holding a significant number of customers in the business process outsourcing as well.
He told us that Aspect recently won the Market Share Leadership Award in Asia Pacific for the year 2014 for Outbound Systems from Frost & Sullivan. The award is given to the company that has demonstrated excellence in capturing the highest market share within its industry in a specific year. This is the fourteenth year that Aspect has won this award.
Summing up what they do, Gupta simply says it’s about customer experience management. “Essentially we help our customer make money and save money,” he said.
As managing director. Gupta’s key responsibilities include driving Aspect’s market strategies, go-to-market investment and customer satisfaction for their company’s market-leading interaction management solution and workforce optimization portfolio, while at the same time leading channel partner and alliance engagements across the region.
His work description might sound like a tall order for any key executive trying to keep their business in top form, but Gupta says he believes a major factor in his success lies with the passion and dedication in getting the job done. Experience also plays a major role, and with Gupta’s career spanning leadership positions at companies where he previously worked with, such as Dimension Data and Avaya, he certainly possesses the knowhow in getting his company ahead.
While Gupta says he remains bullish about the continued growth and dominance of contact centers in the Philippines, he does see some real challenges that the country has to face coming from the neighboring countries, such as Malaysia, Vietnam and even Cambodia. “It all would depend on what would be the critical mass in terms of qualified people, because sometimes one does not have enough qualified people to grow.”
Gupta adds these are more exciting times for the industry, where customers are demanding more value in their overall experience. This also means more work for him, because he needs to oversee the region he is in charge of, and making sure Aspect is always on the advantage. As a consequence, he says he sometimes feel like he is “living out of a suitcase” and at times he is called a “weekend daddy,” because he normally comes home Friday nights to be with his family. On a serious note, he says “having a strong second layer (middle management) is crucial, because his role becomes much easier.”
He reveals that he has just recently moved his family to Singapore from India where he was based for some time. One of his passions is driving and taking in the roadside scenery he says. But he admits he can’t do that now in tiny Singapore. When asked how he relaxes, he says with a laugh, “I’m still trying to figure out what my other passions in Singapore would be.” With his family beside him, he knows they will be able to figure that one out soon. What is important is it will be family decision, and one that they will all enjoy in their new home.