09/11/03 - Posted 10:31:44 PM from the Daily
John Bell / Daily Record
director James A. Kocsi,left, with Ranjini Poddar,
second from right, and some of her staff at
Morris Twp. company wins SBA award
Artech named best
subcontractor of year in this region
By Tim O'Reiley,
MORRIS TWP. - As the commercial
technology markets were peaking in 2000, Ranjini Poddar
scouted for more government- funded work as the way to keep
Artech Information Systems growing.
While not foreseeing the
subsequent tech meltdown, "We didn't think the dot-com boom
was going to last," said Poddar, president of the computer
systems consultant. "We thought we should have a broader
Since then, Artech has boosted
from 10 percent to 50 percent the share of revenues coming
from federal work, with the company on course to increase
revenues from $13.9 million in 2002 to $18 million to $20
million this year.
The business plan also helped the
company win the Small Business Administration's Subcontractor
of the Year Award for the region including New Jersey, New
York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
SBA district director James A.
Kocsi said Artech was nominated for the award by IBM because
of subcontracting work that it did. Artech was chosen from
among about 20 candidates.
While it made the selection based
on several quality factors, Kocsi said, the agency did not
consider a rising hot-button political issue, sending work off
Of Artech's total of 350 permanent
employees and independent contactors, about 150 are foreign-
based, most of them in New Dehli, India. That office not only
does marketing for that country but technical work for U.S.
"The fact of the matter is that
some business is done overseas," Kocsi said. "They (Artech)
make a significant contribution in the U.S. The main focus of
the award is the quality of service as opposed to how many
jobs are sent overseas."
Poddar added that offshore
locations have become a fact of life for many companies to
hold down costs. "If you become domestic-centric, then
eventually you will go out of business," she said.
Artech has attained an SBA Section
8(a) certification for winning contracts specifically set
aside by the federal government for women- and minority-owned
Poddar said she has not gone after
that work, but Kocsi noted that the 8(a) designation gives
companies a leg up when trying to win jobs from prime
contractors that are required to farm out some tasks to small
Artech has 120 employees in the
United States, including 20 at the Morris Township head
office. Many of them work on client sites and not out of an