The Download: Ravila Gupta, President and CEO, CED

Ravila Gupta has over 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles. Ravila brings a passion for entrepreneurship to the RTP-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) as she helps forge stronger connections, engage new partners, and set the strategic direction of the organization. Prior to CED, Ravila was with Umicore, USA for nine years, first as its Legal Counsel and then as its President, beginning in 2011. Ravila also worked as a process/environmental engineer at government agencies and companies that included Tyco Electronics and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. She began her career as an attorney at Ogletree Deakins, in Raleigh.

A 26-year resident of North Carolina, Ravila is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, serving on its Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016, and for a year on its Executive Committee. She is also a board member of the Nature Conservancy (NC Chapter), the National Association of CEOs, and the Duke University School of Nursing. Ravila has worked closely with entrepreneurial founders in the healthcare sector, providing guidance, mentorship, and business advice. Ravila graduated from McGill University with a Bachelors and Masters in Chemical Engineering and earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central University.

1. What is in your pockets?
The one thing I always carry in my purse is a book. I’m a very avid nonfiction reader. I’ve always got a nonfiction book with me so that no matter where I’m at, or if somebody is late, I can always pull out my book and read. That’s really important to me to have that with me all the time.

2. What exciting thing has happened recently for you or your organization?
CED is the longest running non-profit in the country that supports entrepreneurial companies. Our mission is to connect entrepreneurial companies to high-value resources to accelerate their business growth. We just celebrated our 35th anniversary last month. It was a big really fun event at Union Station. Thirty-five years and going strong. CED is going through a pretty big transformation of our business model right now that will be further publicized and socialized in the next couple of months or so. We’re really taking a closer look at how do we increase engagement and set ourselves up to be sustainable from a financial point of view. It will be a big and exciting start for CED.

3. What is your favorite coffee spot?
Starbucks. It’s the one I go to everyday.

4. What keeps you up at night?
I’ve gotten to a point in my career where there’s really not that much that keeps me up at night. From a business perspective, I’ve just done so much in my career and I’ve had so many different roles that I just realized that ultimately, things will work out in the end. I really don’t get bothered by much. I try my best to do the right thing and to lead in a way that I hope is inspirational. I don’t allow myself to be stressed about stuff. For me personally that’s the better way to live.

5. What is your favorite restaurant or happy hour?
I’m a huge fan of Indian food because my roots are from India and really enjoy the Viceroy in Durham. And then, of course, Bida Manda (in Raleigh.) Their Laotian food is absolutely delicious. I like to eat in restaurants that have a little bit of a different flavor to them.

6. What is next for you or your organization?
It’s all tied to our launch of a new business model. I’m really, really excited to see where that takes us. We’ve worked really hard over the last year and a half in coming up with this new strategy and got the right team in place now and we’re just really excited to be able to launch that strategy. The other thing is our conferences will be one event that’s going to cover both technology and life sciences. We used to do two separate conferences at different times of the year, but because of what happened with the hurricane last year we put them together, and now we’re continuing that concept. We’re excited about the potential that that can hold within our new business model and about ways to drive the organization in new directions.

About Brooks Malone 106 Articles
Brooks Malone is a NC CPA and Partner with Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP, and leads the Technology practice group. Brooks is also listed contributor to the National Fast Trac Tech Curriculum that was funded by the Kauffman Foundation. Brooks was named one of the 40 Under 40 in May 2005 by the TBJ, received the Outstanding service to Entrepreneurs Award in 2008 by CED, and named to the Leadership Raleigh Hall of Fame in October 2011. Brooks is a graduate of North Carolina State University and is active at American Underground and Raleigh Founded.