Amit Puri

THE BUSINESS OF SCIENCE

Amit Puri
President and CEO
Ingenicomm, Inc.

What do a group of engineers know about running a business? If it is the group that founded Ingenicomm four years ago, the answer is quite a bit. Ingenicomm is a leading provider of ground and range services for civil, commercial, defense and intelligence aerospace programs. Amit Puri talks about how being a specialist and an executive go hand-in-hand.

Q: Why did you start Ingenicomm?

A: Ingenicomm was founded in 2010 by a group of engineers committed to bringing new innovation to the aerospace industry.  Ingenicomm’s engineers are recognized worldwide for their expertise in ground system architecture and design, and particularly in the telemetry and command processing standards.

Q: Do you consider yourself an engineer or an entrepreneur? Why?

A: I think a mix of characteristics from both roles is important. I’m an entrepreneur first and foremost, and most of my attention is dedicated to the overall business strategy of the company. At the same time, because Ingenicomm exists in such a highly specialized technical field, it’s simply not possible for me to make good strategic decisions without a thorough understanding of the underlying engineering work that we do. I must admit that being in the lab, architecting a solution for our customer brings me the most joy.

Q: As you’ve built your business, what has been the biggest challenge, recruiting talented employees or landing clients?

A: Our biggest challenge has been recruiting great employees. We’re very selective in who we hire. I believe everyone on our team needs to be comfortable with our shared corporate values and norms, and they must resonate with the same passion to our customers’ mission if we’re to be successful as a company.  It hasn’t been easy to find talented, dedicated people, but we’ve had a remarkable success with retaining them once they’ve been recruited. From the founding of the company to date, not a single person we’ve recruited has chosen to leave Ingenicomm.

Q: What is Ingenicomm’s competitive advantage?

A: We’re extremely passionate about what we do. As a company, we’ve done a lot to support scientific and exploratory space missions, and we’re driven by a shared vision and sense of purpose: leveraging advanced technologies to unleash innovation for the benefit of mankind. That was our goal when we founded the company, and that goal has been communicated to and embraced by everyone who has joined us since then. Our shared passion is one of the key reasons for our success, and a critical element in our overall strategic mindset.

Q: What is the greatest challenge to working with government agencies?

A: As agencies deal with decreased IT funding and the threat of even greater cuts in the future, they are increasingly trying to lower system lifecycle costs and reduce the costs associated with implementing changes and enhancements to IT systems in response to changing mission requirements. This environment has resulted in a lot of demand for collaborative IT solutions in which government customers wish to implement additional capabilities themselves, rather than having to go back to the original vendor for upgrades. To be successful, we have to offer solutions that leverage agencies’ existing capabilities to reduce total implementation costs and eliminate future dependencies on particular vendors.

Q: As a leader, what advice do you have for a fellow entrepreneur in your industry?

A: A great leader possesses a strong strategic vision, acts as an agent of change to promote and enroll others to adopt that same vision, and then shepherds the collective execution of that vision. An important quality for a great leader is a relentless pursuit for the vision he sets. In the process of execution, the great leader will consistently learn from good and bad decisions, from good and bad results, and develop visionary instincts that can become a very powerful tool to successfully leading an organization. I often reflect back after an event or a meeting to ensure that results and actions adhere or contribute, in whatever small way, to the overall strategic vision, and that each team member resonates with a consistent and combined shared vision that I have set for the company.

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