28 April 2023
Vivek Gupta wanted adventure. 'I wanted to discover the world, to explore new possibilities. I would travel to the Netherlands for my work and, after a few years here, I knew: this is my place, my new home.' Flash forward and he’s been working at the bank for more than seven years.
What do you do at the bank?
'I work as a Chapter Lead; my core business is testing and test automation. We test complex, digital systems across the bank. On one hand, I’m a techie and, on the other, a manager. When I took over this position a year ago, I started out with just one "chapter." Now, I help nine colleagues, guiding them in their professional and personal development.’
What do you like more? The technical side of your work or your managerial role?
'I started out as a real developer, but now I’m developing more and more into a "people manager." I get very energised by the people around me. I like talking to my chapters about the training they can follow, the issues they face in their team, in their work... We have a very diverse team with colleagues hailing from the Netherlands, India, Poland, Italy, et cetera. Over time, I've realised that, even though my roots are in India, my communication style is typically “Dutch” because I’m direct. In Indian culture, people adopt a more gentle, polite and diplomatic style of communication. These cross-cultural differences can cause problems. I see them when they arise, and I want to make people aware of them.'
Why do you want to do that?
'Cultural awareness is precisely what society needs. We need to acknowledge that the world’s meant for different people and their respective cultures. Something might appear to be a technical issue, but afterwards, it turns out to be a communication issue due to cultural differences. I’ve written a couple of blogs about this, which are available on the Intranet. Using a bit of humour as well as my own experience with Dutch and Indian culture, I try to share these things with those around me. I’ve lived in the Netherlands for over seven years now, and I call it my new home. This is my place. I've learnt a great deal in a short space of time. I’ve grown quite a lot in this culture. My development feels like a roller coaster.'
A roller coaster? Do tell.
'I came here over seven years ago as a developer, hiding behind my PC all day while writing and testing programmes. If I had to say something to a group of ten people, it was a challenge for me because I'm an introvert. But I wanted to show more of myself. With my colleagues’ support and encouragement, four years ago, I gave my very first presentation on stage in front of 300 people. That was a life-changing moment in my career. From that moment forward, my fear of people disappeared and communication became far more fluid for me. I was able to take that step because of the trust and confidence that the product owner, my managers and my colleagues placed in me. The bank’s leadership programmes that I attended were also a big help.'
How can the bank improve?
Although we're a bank, we're also a very strong, progressive and innovative IT company. We work with the latest trends and technologies, so I find it an incredibly satisfying place to work. Everything you could possibly want in an organisation’s right here. It’s up to the employees to take advantage of those opportunities. Take ownership and responsibility, and ask yourself what and how you can contribute at your own level, within your team and, ultimately, at an organisational level. There are occasional problems between IT and the business, usually due to miscommunication. And there it is again: communication. We’re working on that.'
Would you like to apply for a vacancy on Vivek's team or in another department at ABN AMRO?You can apply here!