Nupur Gupta of Crack The MBA tells us about assisting applicants to join leading business schools in their quest to secure admission.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nupur Gupta: Thank you for asking! We are doing much better now, after a difficult time in 2020, when we lost my uncle and my grandmother within a time span of one month. This has been a traumatic time for so many of us, and I am sending love and light to all readers.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Crack The MBA
Nupur Gupta: I started Crack The MBA as I was driven by my vision to create and empower the next generation of global leaders.
While pursuing my MBA at Wharton, I was guiding friends and family through their MBA application process and realized that while many strong applicants had great stories, they were struggling to tell their stories in captivating ways.
I discovered an opportunity to shape a better world by providing aspiring leaders with a transformational coaching program. This program would help young professionals develop a deeper, more connected understanding of themselves, and through that reflection, help them become better leaders.
Today, Crack The MBA is India’s leading education consultancy for MBA aspirants. We have helped hundreds of MBA applicants secure admission into the world’s best MBA programs like Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, MIT, and Kellogg. Our clients have earned millions of dollars in scholarships through their MBA application journey.
What struggles have you endured, and how have you overcome them using your unique entrepreneurial style or strategic moves?
Nupur Gupta: When I founded Crack The MBA a decade ago, I was cautioned by friends and family against starting an education consultancy, as it was a space regarded with suspicion due to the widespread presence of unscrupulous players who prioritized commercial interest over applicants’ needs. Inspired by my mission to empower young professionals, I persevered in the face of opposition. Consequently, I’ve consistently delivered extraordinary results by developing a deep understanding of my clients’ strengths, weaknesses, goals and needs, and using that understanding to coach them through candid conversations and feedback.
I also became a voice of change in the industry, encouraging other firms to follow ethical and customer-centric principles, creating a paradigm shift in the industry. In 2019 and again in 2020, I was voted as president of the US-based Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) – the main industry association in MBA admissions globally.
Another challenge I faced when I started was that most applicants would look for formulaic approaches to building their profiles. At every step, I coached, inspired, and educated my clients to shift their mindset from looking for answers to asking the right questions. This inquiry-driven approach has not only helped Crack The MBA’s clients achieve admittances to their dream schools but has also helped them achieve extraordinary career success. Many of our clients are now rising stars at multinational firms like Google, McKinsey, and Fidelity.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs to make it big in the world?
Nupur Gupta: I have two mantras for aspiring entrepreneurs based on my own career journey. First, I urge you to continue to believe in yourself, no matter what the world says. Even if you fail, you would be richer for the experience. Second, join professional organizations to gain access to ambitious and extraordinary individuals, mentors, and trusted advisors.
I’ve personally grown tremendously from my involvement in leadership and personal development programs worldwide, including being taught by storytellers from Bollywood, creativity experts in Florence, and accomplished journalists and authors in America.
Following these two tips in unison will create a virtuous circle. Investing in yourself and your network helps you gain more confidence and self-belief. Increased self-belief helps you push yourself into larger, more ambitious goals, eventually placing you in a league of your own.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business?
Nupur Gupta: The coronavirus pandemic has improved access to information, people, and resources, thereby enabling customers to receive more and better information in lesser time.
Additionally, there has been an increase in demand for Crack The MBA’s services, thereby creating a demand-supply imbalance.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Nupur Gupta: We have recently instituted new tools, using Google suite, to elevate our customer relationship management experience.
What have been your key takeaways through your professional career, and how have you applied those to achieve success?
Nupur Gupta: Our clients credit a strong work ethic, empathy, excellence, compassion, and a robust process as my winning traits.
I have a deep interest in connecting people with their source truths. To achieve this, I employ various techniques, including deep brainstorming and creative thinking, identifying patterns to help my clients discover their key driving forces in life. These help my clients crack the MBA application process with an unparalleled degree of authenticity, confidence, and insight.
Through my professional journey, I’ve learnt that relationships matter, and I’ve prioritized building deep and meaningful relationships. I believe that my relentless focus on clients, producing high-quality work, and creating goodwill are the most important factors influencing the success of my business.
How have you given back to the community in these trying times?
Nupur Gupta: The world today needs kindness, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. People in decision-making positions have the power to make this vision a reality. To contribute to this cause and create a better world, Crack The MBA has recently launched a pre-MBA scholarship called ‘The Daya (Kindness) Scholarship.’ This scholarship is named after Mrs. Daya Gupta, my late grandmother, a kind person who was also a great leader.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, as president of AIGAC, I created dialog between MBA applicants and business schools – represented by deans and admissions officers – to discuss new and exciting possibilities in the MBA world. This resulted in a better understanding of industry trends and developments on both sides.
Your final thoughts?
Nupur Gupta: Post the devastation and despair caused by the health pandemic, we now have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and create a paradigm shift in what it means to be a human being. I invite all readers to join hands to advance our collective experience of humanity with the possibility of love, laughter, kindness, and joy.