Lunch with BS - The continuity man
You expect a chief executive officer (CEO) in his second month in his office to be in a hurry to reorder things a bit – more so if he’s stepping into big shoes of star predecessor. But I sense none of it in 47-year-old Anant Gupta, the new CEO of $4.2 billion HCL Technologies, as we settle down for lunch at Taipan at the Oberoi, New Delhi, writes Shailesh Dobhal. Gupta says he is a light luncher, and we decide on some soup – hot and sour chicken for him and clear vegetable for myself - Bengal Bekti in black beaji sauce, noodles and some sticky rice.
So, when did he realize he may have made the cut for the top job? “From the timing perspective, I have no view, but from the way my portfolio has been growing, it’s been going on for a while.” Beyond the infrastructure management vertical that Gupta help build into a billion-dollar business for HCL Tech, Europe, too, fell into his lap in the last three years, followed by application development. And in July
last year, when Gupta took the chief operating officer’s role at the information technology (IT)
company, the succession plan was pretty clear to everyone.