LambdaTest welcomes Naveen Gupta as Chief Financial Officer

LambdaTest

Posted On: April 6, 2023

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35 years.

That’s how long Naveen Gupta has been in the finance world!

He’s seen it all–The growth of the public sector, the rise of IT services, and now he is bang in the middle of India’s product-led startup journey.

Team LambdaTest sat down (virtually) with Naveen, our newly-appointed Chief Financial Officer, to get a peek into his journey.

How it all started

If one were to ask Naveen what his hobbies are, you’d most likely hear, “Keeping up with the industry’s best practices and conferring with practitioners to keep abreast of developments.”

That’s how much he is into finance. His hobby is an extension of his work.

But, where did it all begin?

“After my tenth standard, engineering or medical were seen as the best options. No one really wanted to do commerce. But my dad told me, it seems like you are inclined towards commerce. You should go for it. I was excited by the idea of commerce,” said Naveen.

Naveen joined the workforce in 1987 after his ICWAI (The Institute of Cost Accountants of India) degree. He had brief stints in the public sector world and the paper manufacturing industry with Bharat Electronics, Star Paper Mills, and JK Corp Limited, where he handled everything from accounting to costing and raising finance for expansion projects.

The life-changing shift to IT

The IT sector was slowly but surely getting a foothold in India by the dawn of the millennium. Both homegrown and foreign entities were setting shop in India and they were looking for smart talent from existing sectors to hire.

“Companies were hiring from non-tech industries. I took the jump. I still remember the times when the big brands of today were really startups then. Any IT company at that time was a startup,” said Naveen.

Naveen joined the British outsourcing and technology company Xansa in 1998 where he was tasked with forecasting and project costing procedures that would provide details on projects as well as employee-wise profitability. He designed a scientific costing and bidding system to compute costs that were involved in different projects.

“My major contribution at Xansa was to create pricing in the market. Lots of service companies had come in and the market was heating up. Most of our customers were in London,” said Naveen. “One of my tasks was to sit with the analysts and finance wizards based in London and make them understand how costs behave in India– what the impact would be, say 3 vs 2 vs 1 shift, what would it cost the company. We created an entire price list. The goal was to pierce the market and grow with the right pricing.”

After six and a half years at Xansa, Naveen moved to GlobalLogic India as the Vice President of Finance. He was instrumental in establishing the accounting, budgeting and forecasting processes and internal controls within the organization. Naveen also played a pivotal role in implementing SAP in the organization.

“One of the important things I did at GlobalLogic was to invert the cost pyramid. The company allowed clients to choose who they wanted to work with at a flat price, and as you can guess everyone wanted to work with the senior folks. We changed the model. You could still choose the team, but each level had its own price,” said Naveen.

At GlobalLogic, Naveen also got to work on acquisitions. Deep diving into the nitty-gritty like how to do due diligence, what, why, and when to buy were crucial lessons.

“I think the best decision we took was rejecting the companies where the metrics did not fit in. It is a crucial call to make, else one wrong acquisition could bring down all the hard work,” said Naveen.

What does it take to be a CFO?

After his ~5-year stint with GlobalLogic, Naveen joined Pangea3, a legal outsourcing company, as the CFO. Pangea3 was soon acquired by the multinational media major Thomson Reuters.

This was a significant shift in responsibility for Naveen.

But, before we dive into his life as CFO, what really does a CFO do? Is it just looking at reams and reams of numbers and making sense of them?

Well, yes and no.

“Looking at numbers is just the beginning. CFOs go about connecting the dots in terms of understanding the business, analyzing risks, doing the right capital allocation, etc. They should make strategic calls like if I invest in R&D, would we be able to handle the burn given that it has a long-term impact? A CFO is a strategist,” said Naveen.

Naveen played the role with aplomb in Pangea3 and subsequently in Thomson Reuters (as CFO and India Leader-Legal Managed Services) where he was tasked with appraising project viability, strategically analyzing existing systems and procedures, preparing risk management & business continuity plans, and designing internal control systems that would facilitate effective decision-making.

The SaaS plunge

As luck would have it, the investors from one of his previous companies came back to ask Naveen if he’d consider being the CFO at a digital healthcare startup. Naveen, being the numbers person he is, analyzed the total addressable market (TAM), product adoption, and competition, and immediately said yes. And thus began to plunge into SaaS. The company was Innovaccer.

“TAM, adoption, and competition define the future for startups. Healthcare is a trillion-dollar industry in the US and it hadn’t adopted a lot of technology. I saw the potential and the disruption that Innovaccer could do,” said Naveen.

When he joined Innovaccer in 2017, the company had just raised its Series A funding, today, it is valued in multiple billions. Naveen was responsible for the entire finance strategy at the firm.

The LambdaTest Promise

After more than half a decade at Innovaccer, Naveen now calls LambdaTest his new home.

“The innovation that LambdaTest is doing to disrupt the digital experience testing landscape excited me. The potential that such core innovation has is immense. Additionally, LambdaTest’s deep focus on partnerships to enable an integrated enterprise execution environment will fundamentally change the siloed approach to testing and will give companies a unified and streamlined experience,” said Naveen.

LambdaTest’s vision of productivity and efficiency also excited Naveen.

“My task is to carry forward the baton and strategically move towards growth and profitability. The last 35 years have taught me what to do and not to do. With the right team and board in place, I’m really excited to be a part of this journey. My last few organizations have been very successful, I’m sure this will be really huge,” said Naveen.

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome an industry leader! Welcome aboard, Naveen!

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