Abhishek Gupta: Staying connected through CSR

“Kudos to the entire Synpulse family for continuing to emphasise on the “one family” culture, and that’s the main thing I miss about Synpulse.” Read about what Synpulse Alumnus Abhishek Gupta has been up to and how he’s still keeping in touch with Synpulse.

Abhishek Gupta joined the Synpulse Singapore team as a consultant right out of university and credits the team for making that daunting transition from student life to work life smooth and enjoyable. Today, he continues to further his interest in designing new solutions within the payment ecosystem. Abhishek speaks with us about what he’s been up to now, and how he’s still keeping in touch with Synpulse.

What’s your favourite memory of Synpulse?

My best memories of Synpulse have got to be the time I spent with my colleagues. At the risk of sounding cliché, I have to say that the best part about Synpulse is the people. Whether it was working through the weekends on gruelling projects, or having meetings at 7:30 a.m. on Mondays for internal initiatives, it was always heartening to look around me and see the team with me deep in the trenches – and that was really what made the whole experience worthwhile.

My role as a consultant at Synpulse was also my first job out of university, and the team made that transition into the working world smooth and enjoyable. And who can forget the various offsite events! My first annual meeting in Phuket was just an amazing experience throughout.

Kudos to the entire Synpulse family for continuing to emphasise on the “one family” culture, and that’s the main thing I miss about Synpulse.

So, why did you choose to leave Synpulse?

I was at a crossroads. Having spent three years as a consultant, I wanted to gain some experience within a specific vertical. At that time, I’d developed an interest in the payments industry, and the right opportunity came along in the form of a position with the Innovation Team at Visa.

Although the role appealed to me and I was a good fit, it was a tough decision for me as I was working on several cool projects and initiatives at Synpulse. I was also involved in several winning projects across the region and I was really enticed by the possibility of international consulting exposure.

What are you doing now at Visa?

As part of Visa’s Innovation Team, I work on launching new products and solutions with clients across the Asia Pacific region. Most recently, we also launched an accelerator program. With the rise of open banking and open data, as well as the increased emphasis on financial inclusion in the region, I’m excited to see where things within the payments industry go, and it’s definitely an area that I, personally, am interested in.

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It’s great to hear that you enjoy what you’re doing now. What’s something you took with you that you learned at Synpulse?

Despite changing roles and companies, there were several things that I learned at Synpulse that I still carry with me today. The ability to think and present in a structured and concise manner, dealing with several stakeholders on large projects, and being able to manage and drive large-scale projects are all skills that have become super handy in my current role. Presenting to senior stakeholders was a norm at Synpulse, and that has really prepared me for my current role where we routinely pitch new ideas and concepts to C-level clients.

With the whole pandemic disrupting everything, how has life been for you?

The lockdown has surprisingly been an interesting experience for me. From eating out every single meal pre-lockdown, I used the time to learn how to cook and can now make a mean Biryani among other things. Additionally, when the circuit breaker in Singapore was lifted, I started to re-learn horseback riding, which provides me with a scenic break during my hectic weeks.

With the whole pandemic and working-from-home arrangement, I’ve made a conscious effort to switch off from work and do something different in the evenings and weekends. On top of horseback riding, I’ve been keeping myself busy with tennis. And when I’m home, I’ve started reading again.

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That’s cool, what are you reading currently?

The latest book I’m reading is Never Split the Difference written by Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator. I highly recommend it as a great read as it has instantly actionable insights for everyday situations, not just high stakes negotiations.

Lastly, how have you stayed in touch with Synpulse?

Even after leaving Synpulse, I still maintain really close ties with the people and the activities at Synpulse. Most recently, I’m actively involved in a Synpulse CSR initiative with UKUMBI, a social enterprise in Uganda that connects African entrepreneurs with Volunteer Consultants from around the world to help them grow their businesses. I serve on the Board of UKUMBI as an Advisor.

With Synpulse, we launched a corporate program where several Synpulsians from various locations are working with African entrepreneurs on a six-month virtual project on a variety of topics such as growth and expansion strategy, financial planning, and business development.

A big shoutout to the first batch of Volunteer Consultants, Naren, Aditya, Joshua, Jayanta, Ariel, Shajir and Cormac who have been such great companions and mentors to the entrepreneurs in this journey. I hope this will become a long-term partnership and I would love to see more Synpulsians being involved in this initiative as well!

Connect with Abhishek via his LinkedIn profile.

Have a query? Reach out to the Synpulse APAC Alumni Team here.