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Tricity Stars: ‘Want TestingXperts to be Chandigarh’s first unicorn,’ says serial entrepreneur Manish Gupta

How serial entrepreneur Manish Gupta’s vision and passion catapulted his company to one of the top five largest pure plays in the software testing in the world.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Chandigarh |
Updated: December 23, 2021 12:27:10 pm
Founder and CEO of TestingXperts Manish Gupta.

‘DO we really have to talk about me,” cutting a tall figure at 6’3”, a soft-spoken Manish Gupta strides out of his aesthetically designed corner office, reflective of his love for golf and tech, with welcoming warmth. Here we were, face to face with the Founder and CEO of TestingXperts, one of the top five software testing pure plays in the world, serial entrepreneur and visionary, avid golfer, unpretentious, down to earth, and insistent on keeping the focus on nothing but the company. It indeed turned out to be ‘good company’.

Ahead of the curve

At the core of any transformation is innovation, the pursuit of a key differentiator, and the incessant need to discover ‘what’s next’. A serial entrepreneur’s life is marked with such milestones. Carpe diem is their second nature. Gupta, 48, is no different.

Born and brought up in Chandigarh, and now based in London, Gupta ventured into the construction business soon after graduating from Punjab Engineering College (PEC), and established his own construction company, Indotech in the 90s.

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A transition from construction to digital assurance took no time. “I was fascinated by technology, and when the IT boom hit India in the 90s, I knew it was the next big thing.” He handed over the construction business to his partner, followed his instincts and co-founded his first IT services company, Damcosoft in 1996-97.

“In those times, we used to work with the incredibly heavy-duty AS-400 systems that could hold immense data, and withstand any bug,” Gupta recalls. Post Y2K and the dotcom bust, Gupta pursued a tech lead from a friend, which landed him in his ‘dream city’ London. Meetings happened. Meetings failed. “I was stubborn, still am,” says Gupta. Talent and persistence paid off – after a year of rejections, Gupta moved from his small study table that doubled as his office, to his company in the UK on February 7, 2001. Headquartered in London, his company later expanded to the United States and India.

The tech take off

By 2014, business was flourishing, and Gupta decided to go global. “We were successful, but we were just one of the thousands of IT companies – I wanted the world to know about us.”

Gupta found the opportunity he was looking for. With the advent of digital, cloud and continuous delivery of software, the world had in a dismissive tone predicted the demise of software testing where programmers test their own software. But Gupta was not convinced. The ‘end’ declared by the world experts was a new beginning for him. He knew that software testing and quality assurance (QA) is the weakest link in the continuous delivery of software and will require high tech specialist testers.

A hawk-eyed Gupta spotted a gap and set out to fill it. Eyeing a sizeable market share, research and development for effective and intelligent testing was initiated, competition was studied closely, go-to customer strategies were devised, and a core specialist A-team was put together to build a next generation specialist software testing and QA company as the ultimate solution provider.

Testing times gave birth to TestingXperts in 2014, and it announced its arrival by landing a major deal with a US-based product company the same year.

Since then, Gupta, built and mentored a star team at Tx, established offices in the UK, USA, Canada, Netherlands, Singapore, and created multiple delivery centres across India. In Chandigarh, it’s situated in Rajiv Gandhi IT Park.

By 2014, business was flourishing, and Gupta decided to go global.

In barely six years, TestingXperts climbed the ranks to make it to the top five largest pure play testing providers globally. It is in the league of players that ensure quality of your digital life, helping organisations with digital transformation and provide a flawless consumer experience, which, in turn makes businesses grow.

For instance – smooth transactions and security for online banking, uninterrupted online education, effective load capacity for Black Friday sales, AI led chatbots for teleconsultations.

The seamless function is possible because specialists test the preparedness of apps and platforms on various parameters in order to reduce the chances of end-time failures before they reach end-users.

“We are engaged in testing even before the software is written. The journey of our company starts from testing assurance to quality assurance to quality engineering to now, digital assurance. The next step for us is business assurance,” says Gupta.

“I want TestingXperts to be the de facto choice, the Google of the world of software testing, the first Unicorn from Chandigarh.”

Unicorn is the term used in the venture capital industry to describe a startup company with a value of over $1 billion.

Highs & lows
There are no lows in Gupta’s approach to work and life. “I’ve conditioned myself to be think positively.” Yes, there was uncertainty during the lockdown of March-April 2020. “But the world realised that this is here to stay and we need to change.”

Organisations decided to accelerate digital transformation, and TestingXperts has witnessed exponential growth since June-July 2020. “Covid switched us to the digital way of living. The growth and demand in IT industry is phenomenal now,” says Gupta, predicting higher digital acceleration in 2022 with increased adoption and focus on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of Things, Blockchain and Cyber Security.

The secret sauce
“The secret is to never let that hunger to learn die. Always think above and beyond. Move out of comfort zones. Innovate. Evolve, Adapt, Adopt.”

If golf is a meditative experience that resets and rejuvenates him, travelling broadens his horizons. “Breaking ice over golf, travelling and meeting people outside the boardroom is where you forge long lasting relations. One is exposed to different cultures, people, thought processes, perspectives, which you probably will find limiting in a city like Chandigarh,” feels Gupta, who celebrates diversity, and encourages a culture of innovation and equal opportunity environment in his organisation.

It has not only won them the coveted Great Place to Work certification for the second time in a row this year, but the South East Asian Software Testing Awards 2021, and UiPath 2021 Partner of the year too.

“When you want something, the universe conspires to help you achieve it,” Gupta, who claims to be a strong believer of fate and good karma, says.

Tricity dreams

“Chandigarh is my hometown, and I want to give back to the city I grew up in,” says Gupta, whose Tx Chandigarh office is home to 600 plus employees. On a hiring spree, another 120 handpicked from Tricity campuses will join in January 2022.

Their in-house Tx academy mentors and trains people in technical and quality assurance, helping them build their careers. To accommodate the growth, Gupta is looking at Mohali for expansion. The Tricity, he feels has the advantage of young innovators, of institutions and IT Parks, but is yet to realise its full potential. There is a struggle to find those with niche skills. “I want to see Chandigarh on the global IT map, help create an ecosystem and see it as a preferred destination for the IT industry.”

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