Syed Ahmed believes in setting big goals and then working tirelessly to achieve them. His persistence working toward his goals of creating value for his customers and transforming people’s lives has resulted in his business, VDart Inc., becoming one of the fasting-growing information technology staffing firms in the nation, with global positioning.
VDart provides IT staffing services to private and public sector clients in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, India and Australia.
Several years ago when VDart was pulling in about $20 million in revenue, Ahmed decided he wanted to hit the $100 million mark in 2016. He has accomplished that milestone and said he now seeks to achieve $500 million by 2020.
“Back in 2012 when we were bringing in about $20 million, reaching $100 million in 2016 was a lofty goal but we did it. I have no doubt we will hit half a billion by 2020,” he said. “We want to be the nation’s leading IT staffing provider, the best-in-class place to work, and create an economic impact by generating high-paying technology jobs.”
Ahmed started the business in 2007 — just months before the Great Recession hit — and worked to build a leading enterprise that would touch the lives of others and create success, wealth and quality of life for others.
“My vision was to build something big that would create more employment opportunities and touch more lives,” he said.
The company’s 1,544 workers have expertise in core and emerging technologies in IT, healthcare, banking financial services and insurance and manufacturing sectors.
Thanks in part to a high demand for information technology staffing along with Ahmed’s ability to capitalize on opportunities, VDart has experienced three-year sales growth of 300 percent. It has created partnerships with the Big Four consulting firms, large system integrators and managed service providers which fueled growth in the past four years from $21 million in revenues to $82.9 million in 2015 revenue.
“Our existing customers took us global, which allows us to operate worldwide. They opened up a lot of opportunities for us because they have had significant growth and as a result we have grown,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed is this year’s Small Business Person of the Year in the Experienced Entrepreneur category, which spotlights an entrepreneur who has owned a business for at least seven years and has demonstrated exemplary business achievement, workforce growth, customer growth, community leadership, industry influence and entrepreneurial success in the past year. This is also a business owner who has earned public recognition and serves as a mentor for other entrepreneurs.
In addition to its business model, global footprint and leadership, VDart’s growth has been propelled by mentoring from large corporations. VDart has been a mentee of Accenture in its Diverse Supplier Development Program and Delta Air Lines Inc. in the Mentor Protégé Connection Program.
When it comes to future growth, Ahmed said organic growth will come from VDart filling the growing needs of its existing customers, plus adding new customers and pivoting new service offerings in social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technologies.
“Our existing customers have adequate resources for growth and we are landing new customers as well,” he said, adding 28 percent of VDart’s business comes from new clients.
In 2015, it served 157 clients, across industries, and deployed 1,087 consultants on client projects across the globe.
“We staff an internal team of 235-plus recruiting/talent acquisition professionals in multiple geographies, thus providing our customers a unique combination of scale, cost, speed and niche technology expertise. We plan to continue being a leader in the industry providing niche talent to clients worldwide,” he said.
What really excites Ahmed is the opportunity to mentor and coach people and transform their careers, which leads to better quality of life.
“We position people for emerging technology jobs and counsel them and help them get the training they need to deploy them in higher-paying jobs in the industry,” he said.
Since 2007, the company has grown consistently and regularly landed on Inc.’s lists of fast-growing privately held U.S. firms, earned Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Pacesetters Award for the fastest-growing companies in Atlanta and made the Association for Corporate Growth’s Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta list.
“Syed’s vast experience in the world of IT is impressive, but his ability to remove technology as a barrier in order to foster genuine customer relationships is key in his ability to scale VDart,” said Christopher Hanks, founder and executive director of the Shore Entrepreneurship Center at Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business, who served on the awards judging panel. “He and his team are not afraid to constantly reinvent themselves to meet customer needs. With Syed’s leadership, I look forward to watching their impact spread around the world.”
Ahmed takes pride in helping the people he places in positions and in growing his internal team. VDart has been named one of the Best Places to Work by Atlanta Business Chronicle.
VDart and its employees give back to the community through initiatives including children’s education, leukemia research, leadership and technology training for children, clean city campaigns and community food banks.
VDart has started its own philanthropic organizations, including scholarship and mentoring programs.