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Smita Gupta

Inspiring Female Founder Spotlight: Smita Gupta

Smita Gupta is a global marketing executive, influential thought leader, keynote speaker and pioneering advocate for diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. She has delivered high-impact global marketing transformations for some of the world’s best-known SaaS, fintech, telco and cloud technology companies. She draws on her cross-cultural experience, gained living in three continents, to lead global teams – helping them deliver revenue growth through new models of platform ecosystem and marketplace development. Through her business, SG Growth Advisory, Smita now advises early to late stage scale ups and PE-backed tech firms in the fintech, crypto and SaaS space, helping to position them on their journey to achieving sustained relevance and growth.

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

Born in India, and now living in London, I have worked in many countries and continents throughout my career. I have led teams across the US, Europe, the UK, Asia-Pacific, China and Japan. These experiences have made me who I am, igniting my passion for building diverse and high-performing teams. By embracing different cultures and ways of thinking, I challenge conventional approaches to marketing and create meaningful change.

Always knowing I wanted to work in tech, over the past 25 years I have held senior marketing leadership positions at companies from large tech enterprises to high-growth fintechs, including Finastra, Akamai and Cisco.  

Wanting to bring high-growth and commercially driven marketing practices and talent to more businesses, I launched SG Growth Advisory in 2022 to advise and build marketing functions from the ground up for early to late-stage scale-ups in the fintech, crypto, SaaS and high tech space.  SG Growth Advisory offers agile fractional marketing services – by bringing together a global community of marketing talent and best practices to deliver a bespoke marketing plan based on each client’s unique needs. Our approach with each client is to evaluate what they need in the short term as well as longer term, then we deploy the marketing model to deliver some immediate wins while building the runway ready for them to take off.

How did the idea come to you for the company?

Over two decades of experience working and managing teams globally and across different enterprises gave me the insight to identify a common misconception in the market. I was seeing fintech founders recruiting for CMOs without a defined strategy or objective. It was more of a ‘box tick’ exercise rather than them having a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve. This sparked the idea that instead of hiring a CMO, a more agile approach would be to administer a marketing ‘booster injection’ into the company, delivered by a global team of experts and creatives. In practice, if a fintech is looking to expand its market share in the US, SG Growth Advisory taps into its wide network of experts in the region to implement a plan that is locally informed and sensitive to the needs of the region. This way firms have access to a global talent pool network that has the expertise to hit the ground running from day one.

How did you achieve awareness?

For us, awareness has been completely organic and through word-of-mouth. SG Growth Advisory has been self-funded and I’m so proud of how far we’ve come in the last five months since launch. Working with customers and partners across the globe, gave me a fantastic opportunity to build a strong personal brand and meaningful connections across the world. SG Growth Advisory has gone from strength to strength solely down to word-of-mouth from colleagues and industry peers. This advocacy, paired with a deeply personal mission is extremely powerful. I’m very lucky to have such a strong network supporting me on this new journey. 

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?

From initial conversations, it was clear there needed to be a mindset shift to allow clients to transform their current marketing model and approach. It was important for me to differentiate my brand from a typical marketing agency or a management consulting firm while also clearly identifying the return on investment for new clients. I have worked closely with colleagues and industry peers to perfect our elevator pitch on why a fractional marketing approach is the right decision. Being able to offer bespoke high-value marketing services to our clients through our fractional resources and a global pool of talent is our USP.

Where does your drive come from?

My drive comes from seeing other people succeed and enabling businesses to grow sustainably and ethically. With SG Growth Advisory, my goal is for businesses to see marketing as the ‘headlights’ of the business lighting the way, and to show measurable returns on marketing investment.

What are your plans now/for the future?

Right now, my focus is on nurturing our current client base and continuing to organically grow. My goal is to build an international community of easily accessible fractional CMOs and marketers from various fields – ‘SG Growth Advisors’ who work closely with our clients to power a marketing engine that’s commercially driven. The next phase will focus on digital marketing and brand building efforts.

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?

Be resilient and be ready for rejection. I strongly believe that for every two rejections you receive there are up to four opportunities ahead. Take that leap of faith. Keep refining your ideas and be persistent.

Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?

Most people assume success is measured in milestones and goals. On the contrary, I believe success is more accurately represented by setting out to do something to the best of your ability – it is about the journey and enjoying that fully. There is no success without failures along the way. I’ve learned so much from things that didn’t go exactly how I’d planned throughout my career. Every lesson gave me the determination to persevere. It’s easy to overthink things following a rejection so my advice would be to quickly dust yourself off and focus on the next goal!

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

“Surround yourself with people that push you to do better. No drama or negativity. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealousy or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.” Warren Buffet

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” Oprah Winfrey

What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?