Location: Morristown, NJ
Industry: Technology and professional services
Co-founder and CEO
When Ranjini Poddar and her husband Ajay founded Artech Information Systems LLC, the idea of IT outsourcing was relatively new and somewhat unrefined. “Although qualified IT services and advice were available, the quality and continuity of deliverables were inconsistent,” says Poddar. With this in mind, the Poddars launched Artech to raise the bar of IT consulting services. They gathered $210,000 in startup capital from family and friends, and waited for business to start rolling in.
Quick Tip: “I always try to have a positive impact on the people around me, whether they are my family, my employees, or peers and colleagues in the industry.”
After they had waited for a year, their startup capital was gone. The Poddars struggled to make payroll and pay utility bills. They took a step back, renting a smaller office space, cutting back on staff and taking on additional responsibilities — including calling prospects. When a government entity seeking a different company accidentally called the Artech office, the Poddars engaged the caller and made one of their first sales. Within another year, the company turned a profit.
“As I took the reins of Artech, I came across a very common problem: being a woman and minority while trying to manage a small business,” says Ranjini Poddar. “I realized I had to get creative and innovative in differentiating Artech from the larger conglomerates. I had to set overreaching goals not only for myself, but for all of Artech, become more financially cost-efficient, be extremely careful with cash flow to determine reinvestments, and hire the right people at the right time. In due course, all my patience and strategies paid off.”