As the driving force behind Rossell Techsys, Mr. Gupta ventured into the competitive world of aerospace and defense and succeeded in establishing his company as a global player. With a blend of youthful energy, cultural values, and a commitment to excellence, Rishab Gupta shares insights into his entrepreneurial odyssey, the pivotal decisions that shaped his success, and the future vision that aims to propel Rossell Techsys towards becoming a comprehensive global solution provider in the aerospace industry.
In an exclusive interview with the editor of CEO Review Magazine, we explore the dynamic journey of Mr. Rishab Gupta, a millennial entrepreneur, with a passion for aerospace, scaling new heights. Join us as we delve into the fascinating story of an entrepreneur of the year in 2023, exploring the skies of innovation and excellence.
Editor: Who is Mr. Rishab Gupta?
Rishab Gupta: I call myself a millennial generation entrepreneur, an enterprising individual, passionate about anything that takes to the skies, from planes to rockets! I am adventurous, fun loving and love meeting people from all corners of the globe, believing that the world’s diversity is a wellspring of knowledge and connections. I believe in life’s simple joys and the beauty of shared moments.
Editor: Brief us about the background of your company and its key officials.
Rishab Gupta: It was my passion for the aerospace industry and my deep desire to start my own business that charted my entrepreneurial journey. When I returned to India in 2008, post academic stint at Suffolk University, Massachusetts, I recognized that the aerospace and defense industry presented a unique opportunity for India to showcase its capabilities and contribute significantly to the global aerospace supply chain. With a growing pool of talented engineers and technicians, a competitive manufacturing environment, and a commitment to quality and innovation, India had the potential to become a major player in this highly specialized sector. It wasn’t just about starting a business for profit; it was about contributing to the growth of the aerospace industry in India and proving that we could deliver high-quality components and parts to large OEMs on a global scale. This vision became the cornerstone of my entrepreneurial journey.
The next critical objective was to find the right leadership to get on board. In the closing months of 2010, I had a chance meeting with Mr.Prabhat Kumar Bhagvandas, a vastly experienced professional, with a penchant for startup enterprises, with prior experience in A&D, and an appetite for an encore start-up.
He also had experience in working with the venture capital community and our interaction resulted in instant synergy, and then and there the intent of starting up Rossell Techsys was born.
We had the drive, the determination and the capability to do things and what we needed was that one break. It did not take us too long as lady luck, as usual, smiled on the brave, and we had the opportunity to interact with the Boeing Team who liked our vision, our passion and our objectives. They had the need, and we provided the solution. The rest is history!
Today, I feel vindicated in taking the right decisions. Rossell Techsys has over 600 employees and has a leadership team of the very best of professionals taken from the very best in Industry. Rossell Techsys has a brand name that is synonymous with quality and a reputation for credibility above all else.
Editor: Have you always been entrepreneurial? What led you to taking that first step and setting up your own business?
Rishab Gupta: I belong to a family of entrepreneurs, with business in my DNA. Being an entrepreneur was second nature to me. My academic and internship experience in the US helped ignite my passion for the aerospace and defense industry, a domain that resonated with me on a profound level. I was simply in awe of the domain and continue to be so.
Editor: What are your success habits?
Rishab Gupta: The very first tenet is to have a sense of purpose, aligned with what one is passionate about. The fundamental aspect of success is to put everything into where your heart is. It is when passion is challenged, purpose takes us back to the start. Success requires patience, resilience, especially when the going is tough. Giving up is the easiest thing to do, but staying true to convictions is all that matters. Success also needs a team that shares the same values and works together in unison. Success is also about being able to not just predict the future, but contribute to making the future by key decisions, specially making use of the advances in technology. I have ensured the right team with the right cultural ethos.
Editor: What have been some make or break moments in your career?
Rishab Gupta: In my career as an entrepreneur, such a moment does come to mind, when the company was still in its early stages, relying on the vision and the intent. We were working diligently to establish our presence in the highly competitive aerospace industry and nothing that we were doing was fetching us the desired results. It was then we took a decision to look outward, majorly to export business, something that was unheard of for a start-up company in manufacturing, with nothing tangible to demonstrate. We presented what we had, being as honest and transparent as we could, and it was this honesty and transparency that caught the attention of a company like Boeing. We were challenged to “Walk the talk”, something that we were really great at. This initial break was all that we needed. Over the ensuing 12 months, we put in our everything, landing ourselves with our very first export order. This opened the doors to a world of opportunities, not just with Boeing but also with other global OEMs.
Editor: What goal do you have for the future? What more can you do in your role to help achieve this.
Rishab Gupta: My long-term vision is to offer the best value to our customers and expand our presence globally. We aspire to make the company a truly global enterprise, with diversified business segments. In short, to build a company for the future. This journey has commenced, with the opening of US operations in 2020, based in Arizona. We have also entered into strategic teaming agreements with a few more companies in the pursuit of expanding our long-term business interests.
We hope to follow this up with inorganic growth, through a series of acquisitions in areas of interest and synergy. The company has a clear strategy called “vision 2050” and we are wholeheartedly committed to pursuing it. There is a significant element of foresight in it, including some aspects which are too early to talk about. However, what remains consistent and clear is our dedication to be a company that harnesses the full potential of technology in all aspects of operations, people, processes, and relationships and grows into a comprehensive solution provider.
Editor: What are your (Mr. Rishab Gupta) outside interests?
Rishab Gupta: Beyond my deep engagement with enterprise, I love traveling, meeting people from all walks of life, exploring diverse cultures, experiencing gourmet food from around the globe. I am an avid golfer, and my passion for the game extends to all sports in general. Most importantly, I cherish the company of close friends and treasure the time spent together. It is these shared moments of laughter and camaraderie that add richness to life.
Editor: How has the industry changed over the years?
Rishab Gupta: Over the years, the aerospace and defense industry has undergone significant transformation. It has evolved in response to technological advancements, geopolitical shifts, and changing customer demands. Key changes include the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like AI and automation, increased focus on sustainability and environmental concerns, and a willingness to embrace a globalized supply chain that extends well beyond a certain few, all in the pursuit of a better quality of life. It has also seen the commercialization of space and the emergence of private space exploration companies have added a new dimension to the sector. I also see that industry is grappling with seemingly conflicting objectives, higher quality and lower price, but knowing how mankind has evolved, I have no doubt that even such conflicting objectives can be and will be solved by the deployment of rapidly growing technology. I have seen OEMs develop completely new platforms using digital technology, shortening the development time by years, and offering higher quality and obviously lesser costs. I also see a greater push for safety, security, and consciousness about the need for a greater quality of life for the next generations.
Editor: When it comes to the organization, what are you most proud of?
Rishab Gupta: I’m most proud of the unwavering commitment to embracing the “credibility first” philosophy, which lies at the heart of our organizational culture. We prioritize operational excellence and are dedicated to delivering a unique value experience to our customers. It is exemplified by the array of certifications we have achieved. Our integrated management system is a testament to our dedication to maintaining the highest standards in our industry. It encapsulates a range of certifications, including AS9100D, ISO9001, ISO27001, ISO14001, ISO31000, ISO45001, ISO37001, ISO17025, and NADCAP AC7121 standards. These certifications validate our commitment to quality, information security, environmental sustainability, risk management, occupational health and safety, and anti-bribery practices. These certifications have not only set us apart in our industry but have also fostered the credibility that attracts some of the biggest names in the aerospace and defense sector, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Honeywell, to become our valued customers. It is a testament to the trust they place in our ability to consistently meet and exceed their expectations. Moreover, the company has been honored with the prestigious “Boeing Supplier of the Year Award” twice. This recognition reaffirmed the consistent high standards and dedication that our team maintained in every aspect of our work. It stands as a testament to our commitment to quality, innovation, and on-time delivery. Winning this award not just once, but twice, underscored our position as a reliable and exceptional supplier on a global scale. It solidified our reputation as an industry leader.
Needless to say, I am deeply satisfied with being a renowned brand, from India for the world, in a short span of just a decade. We are immensely proud of our commitment to social responsibility, which is exemplified in our support for persons with physical disabilities by providing them with employment opportunities. We believe in creating an inclusive work environment that not only benefits our employees but also enriches our organization with diverse perspectives and talents.
Editor: What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
Rishab Gupta: I believe in making the most of what we have. Resources are never in abundance and therefore, making the best use of our resources is paramount. I believe in making small, consistent and meaningful steps towards the very purpose we were created. Being a “A center of excellence”, being the best in what we do, doing it right the very first time, every time. In this industry, there are no second chances and therefore the margin of error or risk is practically non-existent. The decisions taken, based on value, have brought us to where we are- an enterprise with enormous value and an exciting future.
Editor: Which is most important to your organization—mission, core values or vision?
Rishab Gupta: I believe in a triangulation of all the three, without delinking one from the other. All three are critical for our operations and our future. We uphold all three elements—mission, core values, and vision, with the same level of importance, as they combine to complete the picture of who we are and where we’re headed. All three elements work in tandem to shape our identity and drive our success. Our vision inspires and motivates us for the future, our mission defines our purpose, and the core values guide our behavior and culture to ensure that we operate ethically. Each element plays a unique and integral role in shaping our identity, decisions, and actions. It’s the synergy of these three components that defines the essence of our organization.
Editor: How do you or other leaders in your organization communicate the core values?
Rishab Gupta: I firmly believe in the principle of “lead by example” when it comes to communicating our organization’s core values. As a leader, it’s not just what we say but how we act that resonates most with our internal and external stakeholders. By embodying our core values in our actions and decisions, we set the standard for the entire organization. This principle is a cornerstone of our leadership philosophy and extends to all levels within our company.
Editor: What has helped you get to where you are [influential/effective/in the forefront] and what advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?
Rishab Gupta: I come from a cultural background that places a strong emphasis on values and principles. Even though I identify as a millennial, I’ve never lost sight of these core values, and this has proven to be a tremendous advantage. This has served me on two fronts. Being young, I can relate to my generation and at the same time, my grounding in cultural values and principles allows me to bridge generational gaps with ease. I can relate to people my age, those who are younger, and those who are older. It’s a harmonious blend of the wisdom of experience and the vigor of youth.
In my opinion, one of the most valuable traits anyone can possess, especially in leadership, is the ability to listen attentively. This includes being open to different opinions and making decisions based on what is right, rather than being swayed by emotions or feelings. This approach not only fosters healthy relationships but also encourages freedom of thought, expression, and action within the leadership team. I firmly believe in a culture of respect that knows no boundaries, be it age, gender, experience, culture, language, or creed. This inclusivity is at the heart of effective leadership and harmonious team dynamics.
So, to those embarking on a similar path, I would offer this advice: Stay rooted in your values and principles, listen actively, and cultivate an environment of respect and inclusivity. Embrace the wisdom of the past and the energy of the present, and you’ll find that this blend can be a powerful catalyst for effective leadership and meaningful impact.
Editor: What is the best advice you can give to our readers?
Rishab Gupta: First and foremost, embrace wisdom. There is a lot that we can learn from our ancestors, which is very much applicable today as it was in the past. Secondly, have a purpose and work towards that purpose, no matter what. Do not focus on success but on the purpose. Success will follow if we are committed to the cause. Thirdly, do not be afraid of failure. In life, some of the best decisions have not always resulted in the desired results, but they leave you with a sense of satisfaction of having tried and given your best. Fourthly, embrace change as it will make you more resilient and adaptable. Stay open to feedback. Remember that change is constant, and the ability to learn, adapt, and grow is a superpower in today’s world. Embrace it, and you'll find yourself better equipped to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that come your way.