Sarbari Gupta

Don’t take life so seriously. The little things don’t matter much at all in the long run.


Dr. Sarbari Gupta has been active in the information security industry for over twenty years. She has a broad base of knowledge and experience in the areas of cybersecurity, identity management and security solutions. She has a B.Tech degree in Electronics from IIT, Kharagpur, INDIA, and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a certified CISSP and CISA.

Dr. Gupta has authored over twenty technical papers/presentations in refereed conferences and journals, and holds four patents in areas of cryptography. She has participated in many standards development activities, and has served as author/editor of ISO and Open Group standards. She has supported the development of several NIST publications on information security including serving as co-author for the Special Publications on Electronic Authentication, Security Configuration Management, and Derived PIV Credentials.

Dr. Gupta is the Founder and President of Electrosoft, a provider of technology-based services and solutions with a special focus on cybersecurity. Serving Government and commercial customers since 2001, Electrosoft has garnered many awards, including being ranked on the Inc. 500|5000 List of fastest growing private companies in the USA and the Washington Technology Fast 50 List twice. Electrosoft holds ISO 9001 and CMMI Level 3 certifications.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

From my desire to be an entrepreneur and to leverage the experience I had supporting Federal customers on cybersecurity topics.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I do some yoga in the morning as it helps to clear my mind and make me more productive during the morning hours. I get ready and arrive at work by 8:30 AM. I like to keep my morning open for activities that require focused thinking. My afternoons are mostly occupied by meetings related to proposals, business development or internal reviews. I am out of the office by 6 PM on most days. I try to go to the gym 2-3 weekday evenings. On a typical evening, I have dinner, watch a show for about an hour and get to bed by 11 PM. I like to read a little before I fall asleep.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I brainstorm with my senior team to obtain their thoughts and suggestions. If we need to meet again or do further analysis, we do so. Then, we come to a decision on a way forward and execute.

What’s one trend that excites you?

If you have an Internet-connected device, you can be productive at any time from any location.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am a quick decision maker. I like to gather the facts regarding available options and make a decision to move forward.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t take life so seriously. The little things don’t matter much at all in the long run.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

You can improve your eyesight through eye exercises.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I always try to learn new ideas and approaches that I can try out to improve my effectiveness and performance.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Focusing on taking care of our customers and our employees.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I’ve had many failures like most entrepreneurs. When we first started writing proposals for Government bids, we would try to develop them in an ad-hoc manner, which invariably led to high-stress situations and lower quality proposals. Later, we learned to follow a more process-oriented methodology based on Shipley that allows us to have intermediate milestones (kickoff, pink team, red team, green team, gold team, etc.). It has resulted in less stress and high-quality proposals.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

An online service (similar to Uber) that connects available cooks (specializing in different types of cuisines) with customers who wish to have food cooked on-site for family meals or for a special event.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Buying a Kindle reader. It allows me to read anywhere without the need to carry around books.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Synched contact lists on Outlook, Webmail and smartphone. I maintain notes on my contacts after I meet with them. This helps me remember our last discussion prior to our next meeting.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“The Culture Engine” by S. Chris Edmonds. It demonstrates the importance of establishing a corporate culture based on shared values.

What is your favorite quote?

“Nothing happens by accident.”

Key learnings:

• Reserve the morning hours to focus on high-value tasks
• Take care of your customers
• Take care of your employees
• Don’t take life too seriously