The 2015 Executive Excellence Awards: Sunny Gupta


Sunny Gupta

Cofounder, President & CEO, Apptio Corporation 

Sunny Gupta began apptio after asking the CIO of Goldman Sachs to tell him what the financial giant was struggling with. The reply inspired the creation of Apptio’s cloud-based services that help IT departments track their costs and identify where spending is most effective. Since then, listening to a customer’s problems remains the driver of Apptio’s development and growth.

It seems to be working for the thriving Bellevue-based company, which has grown in only seven years from five people to 500, serving hundreds of clients that include Cisco Systems, Bank of America and Coca-Cola. “Apptio may not be the most sexy thing, like Facebook,” says Gupta, “but it’s so paramount to the way technology is changing.”

Ambition on a big scale, Gupta affirms, “is the north star” for him and his executive team, and he prefers to build Apptio on his own rather than seek to be acquired. “There’s a lot more growth ahead of us than behind us,” he says confidently. 

The key to that growth, Gupta expects, will be reaching out to smaller customers and making what the company has learned from serving big companies available to all. The next step after listening, adds Gupta, is transferring to others what you have learned. “That allows us to serve thousands instead of hundreds.” 

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