The WFE's Women Leaders 2021 - Tinku Gupta, Senior Managing Director, Chief Technology Officer, Singapore Exchange

By: The WFE Focus Team Mar 2021

Nominee’s name: Tinku Gupta

Member: Singapore Exchange (SGX)

Nominee’s job title: Senior Managing Director, Chief Technology Officer


1. - Brief description of nominee’s role/job: 

Ms Tinku Gupta is the Chief Technology Officer and a member of the Executive Management Committee in Singapore Exchange (SGX).

She has executive management responsibilities of both Technology and Cyber Security units in SGX.

This includes overall planning, development and implementation of the company’s technology and cyber security related strategies and initiatives, as well as building and operating business and corporate platforms for SGX.

2. - Short bio (career highlights, education, interests/hobbies): 

As Tinku steps into her 25th year in the exchange industry and in SGX, she remains focused and passionate on delivering customer value while driving a strong culture of accountability and innovation.

At SGX, she has led both business functions with P&L responsibilities and technology units. She started her career in the technology team and worked in a variety of roles. Among her various job rotations, she successfully led the Business Integration and Programme Management function in SGX through a period of significant change and worked on implementing the current Securities and Derivatives platforms on NASDAQ applications. She also headed the Market Data and Connectivity business, successfully establishing the co-location services business and launching the index business, before returning to head the technology unit in 2015.

In her current role as Chief Technology Officer, Tinku spearheads transformation with a three-pronged focus on resiliency, agility and opportunity. Under her leadership, her team has consistently delivered 100% uptime, built multiple software platforms to support SGX’s multi-asset strategy, and accelerated digitalisation and digitisation for customers and employees of SGX.

Her emphasis on engineering innovation, building IP, and emerging technologies has been instrumental in talent acquisition in the areas of software development, cyber security, data science and digital technologies. Among the multiple projects led by Tinku and her team, one notable achievement was the development of a unique methodology to enable real-world interoperability of platforms, as well as the simultaneous exchange of digital tokens and securities, which led to SGX securing its first-ever technology patent in digital assets.

She continues to be a role model for women in technology and is active in diversity and community programmes.

She holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering.

3. - What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2020?:

Since January 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an extraordinary confluence of events. The perfect storm of record market volatility, combined with unprecedented black swan market conditions, and a sustained deviation from standard operating procedures forcing us to operate with less than the minimum required staff on the premises, and pushed our platforms, people and processes to the limit. We were fortunate to be able to operate our markets in split sites and minimal staff on-premise, as our staff already had access to systems, infrastructure and information through collaborative digital tools that we had put in place early on.

Technology leaders around the world, would have seen 2020 as a year to remember in their career for both its challenges and opportunities. Many exchanges, including some of the major ones, experienced market disruptions from technology failures. Despite the extreme stress in the markets and ecosystem, SGX’s platform and infrastructure performed seamlessly, without any disruptions or restrictions on market participants.

Being a woman in a technology leadership position for an always-on market infrastructure, I feel proud that SGX was able to deliver 100% uptime for critical business services, deal with extreme market volatility, and even roll-out many new technology initiatives during this period. In this new operating model, my focus was also on improving customer and employee experience, by accelerating digital transformation.

Last but not least, in 2020, I spearheaded a virtual technology symposium themed “Think, Transform, Trust: How Companies Think Differently, Innovate to Transform and Gain Customer Trust” to raise funds to support the beneficiaries adopted by SGX Bull Charge, which is our CSR initiative to support the needs of underprivileged children and families, persons with disabilities and the elderly. The symposium, as well as being a fundraiser, enabled open discourse between key industry leaders on innovation in the field of technology today. I firmly believe in paying it forward, whether it is supporting charitable causes or contributing to the community by sharing our knowledge and experience.

4. - What and who inspires/has inspired you to achieve your professional success:

Melinda Gates. Her multiple roles as a technologist, philanthropist and author have been extremely encouraging and have motivated women around the world to reach for higher heights. Specifically, her vision and work towards promoting gender equality through various fronts such as dismantling barriers to leadership positions, creating opportunities for leadership, and fighting against discrimination; is what appeals to me and inspires me.

5. - What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions:

Women’s emotional intelligence, adaptability, perseverance, and multitasking abilities help them thrive in leadership positions. We just need to put our best foot forward and push ourselves with a “I can do it” attitude rather than thinking too much about “Can I do it?”