Meet Gaurav Gupta

HR Director, Automotive and Specialty Coatings and Central Marketing works in The Netherlands

For Gaurav Gupta, constant renewal is a hallmark of a great company. As an HR Director, he helps put progress into perspective for our high-performance leadership teams.

When Gaurav Gupta first disembarked in the Netherlands almost five years ago, he had an incident he will never forget.

"Just as I reached the exit gate of my terminal in Schiphol airport, I was pulled aside by the authorities for a routine bag check, says Gaurav. “The official opening my bag asked me where I worked – and when I replied ‘AkzoNobel’, he stopped, zipped my bag back up and said: ‘really great company, welcome to the Netherlands.’

“If an organization can command that much respect and trust externally, we must be doing something right.”


 

"Among the projects that I’m involved in, I’m most proud of my part in the High-Performance Teams program. We really cut to the core of how we can all work better together to deliver superior value and service to our customers and employees."


 

Looking into the mirror

Gaurav is our Human Resources (HR) Director for our Automotive and Specialty Coatings business and the Central Marketing function. That means a lot of thinking ahead, planning and solving key people issues – without creating future problems.

“Among the projects that I’m involved in, I’m most proud of my part in the High-Performance Teams program,” says Gaurav. “As facilitators, we work with leadership teams across the company and really cut to the core of how we can all work better together to deliver superior value and service to our customers and employees.

“These aren’t easy, soft discussions. They’re hard, look-in-the-mirror moments for the team. We talk openly and transparently about topics like goal alignment, execution quality and team renewal – and then we act on them.”

 

In for a thrill at McLaren

One of the most amazing experiences of Gaurav’s career was visiting the headquarters of one of our famous customers: McLaren.

“I was fascinated by how much they valued our partnership,” says Gaurav. “Every process or technology modification we partnered on aimed not only to enhance visual appeal, but to reduce their surface paint. That’s because lap-time improvement – measured in decimals of milliseconds – is paramount. I saw how our company helps shape excellence in the world.”

 

Your career is a chance to fly a plane

“When it comes to navigating your personal career, I’ve always worked on the model of a pilot /co-pilot share of responsibility while flying an airplane. You have the prime responsibility in the pilot’s seat, and you need to be fully present in the cockpit to learn and observe as much as you can about flying in both rough weather and clear skies. You do, however, have the larger company who acts as a co-pilot, guiding you and giving you feedback regularly. AkzoNobel has proven to be a great co-pilot in my own journey,” says Gaurav.


 

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