The team at Artech Information Systems, a global IT staffing company, is tasked with one of the toughest problems in business: finding top-notch tech talent in an era when those skills are in demand in virtually every industry.
So how does Artech fill necessary slots for its clients, which include more than 65 Fortune and Global 500 companies?
It helps to have an internal database of candidates — 10 million strong, which Artech has been compiling since its founding in 1992.
“We’ve developed the database over time from a variety of sources,” said Artech CEO Ranjini Poddar, who founded the firm with her husband Ajay. “Our first go-to is our internal database of candidates who’ve performed well with us in the past. Beyond that, we do look at new ways of recruiting using social media — specifically, LinkedIn. If we’re looking for an unusual combination of skill sets, we might go to online user groups that are industry- or technology-based.
“There are good people out there. It’s just a matter of finding them.”
Doing so has helped Artech — the 10th-largest IT staffing company in the U.S. — land at No. 34 on this year’s NJBIZ Top 100 Privately Held Companies list. The Cedar Knolls-based firm has been growing quickly in recent years, and it has no intentions of slowing down.
That always has been Poddar’s style.
IT outsourcing was just a gleam in Silicon Valley’s eye when Poddar, then studying for a degree at Yale Law School, saw a business opportunity.
“My undergrad degree was in computer science, so I had been exposed to the industry. In the early ’90s, there was so much acceleration in technology. I could discern the huge, huge demand that was out there,” she said. “It seemed like a great business to be in, so we just built a plan and executed on it.”
Artech has been profitable since 1994. The company had a compound annual growth rate of 24.4 percent from 2007 through 2011, landing it on multiple “fastest-growing companies” lists. In 2013, it had $337 million in revenue, and Poddar said she wants the company to reach $500 million within the next five years.
Its plans for growth are three-pronged.
“We plan to go wider and deeper in our existing client base. Because of the economy, we are seeing a significant increase in demand from these clients, sometimes an increase of 30 or 40 percent,” Poddar said. “Next, we’ll be focusing on acquiring new clients where we can add value. And finally, we’ll be entering new geographies.”
Artech maintains offices up and down the East Coast as well as the South and West, and has a headquarters in a suburb of New Delhi and a base in Shanghai.
And clients are asking about other spots: “Canada, Mexico, other Asian countries and, interestingly, Africa, as well,” Poddar said.
No matter where it grows, Poddar is determined to maintain a unified company culture built on a commitment to the client.
The company produced a short video in which employees were asked about what’s important to Artech.
“Every single person spoke about our client-first commitment,” Poddar said. “It’s become ingrained in our culture. Now we have to be sure that the people we hire will execute on our values and not deviate.”
#34 Artech Information Systems
Headquarters: Cedar Knolls
Leader: Ranjini Poddar
Industry: IT consulting
2013 revenue: $338 million
Last year’s ranking: 31