Sidd Ahmed featured in MBE Magazine
Transforming people’s trajectories.Don’t tell Sidd Ahmed, president and CEO of VDart that he can’t achieve anything he sets his mind to. His persistence and focus will likely propel him through whatever challenge is placed before him, and he’ll achieve much more than imagined. Need proof? Ahmed and VDart’s list of accomplishments is long:
- Winner EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017– Tech Services Southeast Region
- Named National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) MBE of the Year 2019
- Named 2019 Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC) MBE Advocate of the Year
- Named one of the 2019 Best & Brightest Companies to work for in Atlanta
- Honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration for Entrepreneurial Success
- Awarded the NMSDC Class IV Supplier of the Year
- Recognized by Inc. magazine to be a Best Places to Work 2019
- Received Fast 100 Asian American Business Excellence Award from the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce for five consecutive years
As impressive as these accolades are, Ahmed’s vision—to use VDart as a vehicle to transform people’s lives—is even more remarkable. VDart is one of the fasting-growing information technology (IT) staffing firms in the U.S., with more than 2,500 employees globally and more than $132 million in revenue.
Ahmed, a computer engineer, started VDart in 2007 after working for several smaller firms, which he says “lacked his vision of what a people-centric organization could be.” It was this idea, and an intuition on how to grow his own enterprise into something even larger, that started this endeavor to create success, wealth, and quality of life for all associated with the company. This vision for the company is also reflected in the company’s name and logo.
“VDart is a very people-centric company, so in the name, ‘V’ stands for ‘we,’ collectively, as employees. And ‘dart’ is the equivalent word for ‘dash,’ which is, we dash to provide services for our customers. One of our core values is a very high sense of urgency, so we react to our customers with a resolute swiftness” he says.
“The logo really showcases that as well. It has a dartboard and a bulls-eye, with the tagline ‘Bulls-I-Consulting.’ The reason why we have that is to showcase that we meet our customers’ expectations with bulls-eye precision,” he adds.
“Ultimately, we want to provide opportunities. We want to create loads of innovations for our employees. Our higher purpose is to transform the trajectory of people’s lives. That’s what we work for—work toward—in every transaction we do.”
Ahmed is a native of Trichy, India, a college town in the state of Tamil Nadu and home to institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management, the Indian Institute of Information Technology, and the National Institute of Technology. While there are several educational institutions there, the town lacks large employers. Growing up, Ahmed noticed that because of the limited employment opportunities, many men had to leave the town in order to earn a living. This instilled a burning desire to create opportunities for people to live and work there. Shortly after launching VDart, he chose Trichy as the location to build the company’s back-office operations, not only becoming the only employer there at that time‘, but also achieving his goal.
“We have about 450 employees based out of that location. We’ve been able to create an economic boom in that location. That team supports our global operations. We have offices in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Belgium, the U.K., Australia, and Japan. All of these locations are supported by this facility,” he says.
Since its launch, VDart has grown from a one-person company to more than 2,500 employees globally, with 1,200 employees in the U.S. For 2020, Ahmed is looking to increase the company revenue to the “very audacious” goal of $500 million. “We want to be in the top five or the top ten—to go beyond the billion-dollar journey in the staffing market, when everybody says it’s a commoditized market,” he says.
Managing a rapidly growing, global enterprise is often a challenging endeavor. There are strategies to be developed, visions to be implemented, a competitive market landscape to be monitored, expansion opportunities to be considered, and so on. And once a certain level of success is achieved, it can be difficult to motivate oneself to continue chasing it. That’s not the case with Ahmed; he is continually inspired by, and proud of, his company’s overall purpose—the reason it exists.
“Am I able to transform the trajectory of any individual whom I come across? Can I have a meaningful conversation, and am I able to help them get to the next level? This is the mindset the entire organization has, and that is the confidence-driver: transforming the trajectory of people’s lives,” he says. “When I look back at the 10,000-plus people whom we’ve created opportunities for, who we have been able to help in creating success, wealth, and quality of life, that is the proudest moment for me.”