Gaurav Gupta


Gaurav has a passion for translating strategy into successful implementation and for developing learning-focused teams. Gaurav has worked with clients in industries as diverse as food and beverage, oil and energy, healthcare, chemicals, and finance. Gaurav draws on his extensive global (having worked in over 10 countries) and diverse functional experience in collaborating with business leaders to develop and implement effective transformation efforts. Prior to joining Kotter, Gaurav lead the operations for the European office of Stroud International, a management and operations consulting firm. Gaurav combines his passion for international development and education in serving as an executive board member for a non-profit, Medic to Medic, that sponsors medical students in Uganda and Malawi. Gaurav holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Middlebury College and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University.

Gaurav splits his time between Washington, DC and Delhi, India.

Why did you decide to work at Kotter?

Having spent my career up to joining Kotter helping business leaders achieve breakthrough performance improvements, I had seen firsthand the challenge in leading real behavior change at an organizational level. I have seen many transformation efforts initially deliver big results that fade away over time due to the inability to fully engage the broader organization in the change. Joining Kotter was a natural step for me in helping clients have a lasting, as well as significant, impact.

What challenges do you most enjoy helping your clients solve?

Transformative change requires breaking through constraints and assumptions that limit what people believe is possible. In most businesses, there are a few behaviors (setting safe goals, not admitting mistakes, unwillingness to try and fail) that are part of the culture and are pivotal to changing what can be achieved. Helping clients identify and address these behaviors is exciting because it truly unleashes the latent potential in the business.

What in your background helps you in this job?

The broad perspective I have gotten from growing up in three continents, working in over 10 countries, working with shop floor workers and C—suite executives has enabled me to better empathize with different points of view. This is particularly helpful in anticipating how different stakeholders are likely to perceive a change effort and what it might take to have them come onboard.

What’s got you thinking right now?

I am currently reading “Thinking: The new science of decision making” which is a fascinating collection of essays/talks from Nicholas Taleb, Daneil Kahneman, and Jon Haidt amongst others. I find Malcom Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast to be consistently thought provoking.

Share something about you that would most surprise people.

My first words were in Igbo – which I have now completely forgotten.