How Turning Down Her First Job Offer Shaped Saumya Gupta’s Life

When Saumya Gupta turned down her first ever job offer from a leading consulting firm, little did she know that this would end up being one of the most important decisions she’d made in her life.

“It was my father who convinced me not to take up that opportunity, and back then, I was miserable about it,” Saumya shares. “He wanted me to embrace smaller experiences and gain knowledge from them before I tried to achieve my bigger dreams, and in hindsight, I am so glad that I took his advice! Turning down that offer and getting into Decathlon instead is what brought out the entrepreneur in me. My life might have turned out completely differently had I taken any other decision that day.”

Saumya Gupta - GMBA 2019

Saumya Gupta (GMBA’19) is a BSc (H) graduate from Lady Shri Ram College (New Delhi, India) and was obsessed with basketball for over a decade before she joined Decathlon Sports India. “From achieving the title of the youngest department manager at 21 to opening one of the biggest stores for Decathlon in Gurugram, my entire time at Decathlon was one mesmerising experience after another. Till date, when someone asks me about the accomplishment I’m most proud of, I always recount the time we successfully planned and implemented the opening of Decathlon’s first store in Gurugram. The dedication we had as a team to make it the biggest opening weekend ever in the history of Decathlon India was enthralling. We made sure that every customer walked out of that store extremely happy and satisfied.”

With so many successful milestones at such an early age, why was Saumya tempted to give up her role and look for other opportunities? “I quit my job when I realised that there was a gap in my practical and theoretical knowledge of sales and marketing,” she explains. “This is when I decided to apply to the SP Jain Global MBA. I wanted to widen my horizons in different verticals and understand the various aspects of running a business, and this program helped me with exactly that.”

Saumya Gupta - GMBA 2019

After graduating from SP Jain just 2 months ago, Saumya is currently working as a Business Consultant with Vector Consulting Group, India’s leading management consulting firm in the space of Theory of Constraints (TOC). “Throughout my time at SP Jain, the one feedback that I constantly got was that I was a jack of all trades and should keep myself open to different career opportunities apart from just sales and marketing. I decided to opt for consulting as a career since my knowledge of different verticals came in handy for this profile. I can’t thank Mr Menon (V K Menon, CEO & Head of Campus – India, SP Jain) enough for introducing us to a company like Vector which is extremely employee friendly and highly respected in its industry.”

“As a consultant, my job today is to face clients and explain our solution elements at every step of the implementation. Therefore, convincing and communication skills are a must for this profession,” Saumya continues. “During my time at SP Jain Sydney, Prof Richard Coller’s class on real-world skills was my favourite, and the lessons from this class are tremendously useful to me today. It was Prof Coller who helped me become a confident speaker and gain the attention of the room. The Dean of our program, Dr Balakrishna Grandhi, made a tremendous impact on my life as well. I wouldn’t be able to take up leadership positions with as much ease had it not been for him. Even at Dubai, we got to meet top industry leaders including Richard Branson (CEO – Virgin Group) and Joanne Lesley Malone (CEO – Jo Malone). Interacting with them made me realise that knowledge is a virtue and there is no better way to win over a person or a conversation than deep knowledge.”

Saumya Gupta - GMBA 2019

On being asked about her plans for the future, Saumya reveals that she aims to become a Red Belt (Project Head) at Vector Consulting in the next 5 years. “I wish to accelerate my career at Vector Consulting by focusing on client facing roles and honing my skills to lead multiple projects. But before that, my short-term goal would be to help my family expand their business at a global level.”

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