A global IT services firm works to go domestic.
Sanjay Anand, founder and CEO of CLA Solutions Assurance Systems, is the type of business traveler that major airlines yearn to attract into their frequent flyer programs. With offices in New Jersey, Toronto, New Delhi, and Mumbai, the IT services firm keeps its chief executive on the move. Which is apt, since the company is looking to speed itself along as well, gathering clients as it goes.
How did your company get started?
About a year ago, we got involved in providing IT products to companies outside the U.S., because around the time that we started providing services, there was a downturn in the economy and we saw more opportunities overseas. It made sense to focus there, rather than domestically. But now we’re starting to concentrate on providing services here as well.
Why did you decide to name your company after the three Fates (Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos) of Greek mythology?
They represent Inception, Life and Culmination. That’s the way we like to view software projects — as having a start, a finite life and an end to the project. Unlike some of our competitors, where the project never seems to end, we don’t start something unless we have a goal for completion. We’ve even developed a rigorous software, called the spiral model, that follows the same three basic steps of beginning, middle and end.
Many IT budgets are being cut lately; how are you faring?
It’s affecting our company in two ways. One is the downside of the phenomenon you’re talking about, where we certainly have to work a lot harder to be able to get into companies and explain tyo them why it makes sense to make the investment in technology, something they may have been putting off. This is a big challenge from the sales standpoint.
However, given the fact that we’re able to bring in service from three different places (New Jersey, Toronto and Mumbai), we’re able to save money that we can then pass on to the customer. That makes it easier for them to choose us. So, the hard part is in making the sale, but once it’s made, they’re glad they signed with us.
With the current political tensions in India, are there any concerns about your Mumbai office, or about outsourcing to that country?
The short answer is yes, but the long answer isn’t as clear-cut. The fact is that in this world, with the way it is, one must always be aware of political uncertainty as a possibility. In the last few decades, the move to offshore outsourcing has caused companies to examine certain aspects of their business, like disaster recovery. So, yes, there have been more concerns voiced about India lately, but the fundamentals of IT outsourcing to India, as well as other countries, have been looked at for decades, so I don’t think it’s an overwhelming or unexamined concern right now.
What are your plans for the next few years?
In the immediate future, our goal is to continue to grow. Over a slightly longer horizon, in the next three to five years, we’re going to try and make sure we keep on the cutting edge with technology. It’s important to stay on top of that, to understand the details, but it’s more important to keep on that edge in order to understand the application of technology. We want to make sure we stay aware of what drives business and how technology can support that.
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