“I had to learn when I came on board. I was asking stupid questions, and sometimes it’s good to ask stupid questions because people keep doing the same thing for so long that they don’t think outside the box,” he says.
Gupta questioned the status quo of every step, process and activity. He applied common sense. For example, everybody knew what reports to send to the CEO. Every day, Gupta’s email was diligently populated, but he wasn’t sure he actually needed those reports.
“I said the best thing to do is switch all the reports off and ask for the reports that I really need,” he says.
He also got closely involved with marketing and human resources, because he wanted to make sure those two areas connected to his thinking.
Gupta’s vision was to make Mastech more than a supplier of digital technology staff. It would have the ability to do digital transformation projects and grow its customer relationships. However, the company had to first define “digital.”
The Mastech team narrowed digital down to social, mobile, analytics, cloud and artificial intelligence. Then it created centers of excellence around those digital technology skills, hiring new people, and redeploying and training existing employees. The company also added project services around Salesforce, SAP HANA and digital learning.
“While this was being done, we decided that we are going to change the name of the company from Mastech to Mastech Digital,” Gupta says. “All this that I’m talking about happened in the very first six months of my coming on board.”
Mastech Digital is a mature company for its industry, so the new name, logo, colors, etc., would provide a young, vibrant feel.
From the day Gupta walked in, he also wanted to create a homogenous culture.
“You could see that there were different cultures in different parts of the organization,” he says. “Some were legacy Mastech, which had an amazing culture in the past, and some newer areas probably hadn’t fully absorbed.”
One way to bring the organization together was to refer to all workers, whether they were contractors or employees, as associates. You are either a field associate or an office associate.
“It’s a small beginning but it changes the culture in the organization,” he says.
Gupta also wanted to be able to reach all 1,100-plus employees to be able to update them about the plan and its progress.
“They were watching the change. They were part of the change. And they loved it,” Gupta says. “In fact, we even had a little contest inside the organization, what logo would you like between two or three choices. So it’s not that suddenly a CEO comes from outside and he just drops a bomb and tells everyone this is the new way of doing things. They were enjoying the fact that they were part of the ride. Their ideas were being heard.”