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Q&A: Talking with Jacobs Senior Project Manager, Sangeeta Gupta

Senior Project Manager Sangeeta Gupta talks about her first project at Jacobs, her passion to help transform cities and communities through sustainable development, effective urban strategies and digital innovation and why she loves #OurJacobs culture.

The world needs innovators and problem solvers who turn challenges into greater opportunities and Senior Project Manager Sangeeta Gupta is one of ours, whose work help tackle India’s complex challenges in water and smart cities.

In this feature, we caught up with Sangeeta to talk about her first project at Jacobs, her passion to help transform cities and communities through sustainable development, effective urban strategies and digital innovation and why she loves #OurJacobs culture.

To start with, tell us about your background and role at Jacobs.

I am a Senior Project Manager based in Gurugram, India with over 17 years of experience in multidisciplinary infrastructure developments across Asia. I hold a postgraduate Degree in Environmental Science & Engineering. In my role, I enjoy the challenge to help transform cities and communities through sustainable development, effective urban strategies and digital innovation.

What sparked your interest in the field you’re pursuing?

Back then, I was one of the few students who studied environmental engineering in my college. Since it was a new engineering discipline established in India at time, I was skeptical of the opportunities ahead but came to learn how fundamental its role is in protecting nature’s ecosystem and quality of human life. Fast-forward to the beginning of my career, I was provided the opportunity to work on an incredible project – the planning and development of a 4,000-Megawatt Ultra-Mega Power Plant for the government of Mundra, Gujarat. Since then, I haven’t looked back since! My role today offers the perfect platform for me to leverage, apply and build on the insight and experience I have gained from my past projects.

 What are you most passionate about and what’s the favorite part of your role?

Building and cultivating strong and lasting client relationships, as well as leading multidisciplinary teams to achieve successful integrated outcomes.

Tell us about your first project at Jacobs.

My first project at Jacobs involved a series of workshops and advisory sessions with teams in Mumbai and Singapore and over 100 government officials from the State of Maharashtra, India. It was a capacity-building program for sustainable water recycling and integrated water management funded by Singapore Corporation Enterprise and Temasek Foundation International. Later, the success of this program saw our team lead a large water resiliency program to help tackle water scarcity in India. This ongoing work has been running for the past four years and we’re now underway to upgrade several industrialwastewater treatment plants to help diversify the state’s water portfolio and bring resiliency to the system through non-potable water for industrial reuse.

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Sangeeta and site team in Maharashtra, India (photo taken prior to COVID-19 pandemic) 

What are some other challenges in India we’re helping to tackle?

Currently, our team is working on the development of smart industrial nodes as part of the National Industrial Corridor Development Program that aims to transform the quality of life and economic prosperity for more than one billion people in South India. When complete, the greenfield development will attract manufacturing companies with high-value products and excellent export potential and in turn, help fuel economic and socio-economic development in the region. It is an extraordinary project that will combine state-of-the-art infrastructure with innovative cost solutions and fast-track delivery supported by effective urban strategies and digital innovation.

What are some key considerations that will help drive a successful major program?

A clear understanding of the project requirement, effective communication plan and strict adherence to the project schedule, with no compromises to quality. Ultimately, I think it’s about bringing the right project team with the right skillset, experience and dedication to work towards realizing our client’s goals.

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Singapore-India capacity-building program for integrated water management in July 2016

When you’re not at work, you enjoy…

I really enjoy origami and I’ve folded wide-ranging artifacts with uncut papers without applying any glue! I also miss the idea of traveling but these days, I have enjoyed some gardening and putting my culinary skills to test with new recipes, every now and then.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?

For me personally, I love the collaborative culture of work at Jacobs where people from diverse background and disciplines support one another and work towards a common goal, that ultimately is about making a positive difference in our world. Jacobs places great importance on work-life-balance and positive mental health, providing flexible working hours and the resources to support our employees wherever there are, especially during these challenging times.

You aspire to…

Help shape solutions and outcomes that promote social inclusion regardless of gender, economic status and background across our projects.

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