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Minority-Owned Business Achieves High Growth and Success with 8(a) Program
Jay Reddy has lofty goals for his company. He not only wants to become the most successful small business in West Virginia, but be recognized as one of the best in the entire country as well. By the way, his company has been growing, it might not be very long until he attains that goal.
Reddy is owner and CEO of ProLogic Inc., a small disadvantaged, 8(a) business in Fairmont West Virginia that provides innovative information technology solutions for local, state and federal agencies as well as commercial clients. The company specializes in 3-D visualization, knowledge management, information technology support services and independent verification and validation services.
ProLogic started as a one-man operation in the West Virginia High Technology Consortiums incubator in 1995 and has grown to over 75 employees today. It has employees working on projects in 10 different states throughout the country.
“We’ve doubled in size last year and by 500 percent in the past five years,” said Reddy. “We’re marketing ourselves throughout the entire country and working on contracts as far west as Alaska. There’s no place we won’t go for work.”
Reddy credits the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) business development program for helping them grow.
“The assistance we have received from the SBA has helped us understand the federal contracting process and enables us to bid on and win government contracts,” continued Reddy. “The help and support we’ve received from West Virginia SBA employees has been outstanding.”
He also has a good understanding of how the 8(a) program works.
“8(a) certification by itself doesn’t get you contracts. You need to use it as an enabler” said Reddy. “You have to build up your company based on core competencies and not live on crutches. The 8(a) program gives you the tools you need to develop and grow, that’s what the program is all about.”
ProLogic relies heavily on contracting to the Federal Government. Most of their business is as a prime contractor for clients such as NASA, Air Force, Army, and others. In fact, 70 percent of their contracting work is as prime contractor with over 90 percent to government clients. During a 3-week period this year, ProLogic signed nearly $13 million in contracts.
Reddy, born in South India, attended Virginia Tech in the late 1980s and upon graduation found employment at a Huntington-based high-tech company that had an office in Fairmont. He then earned his master’s degree in business from West Virginia University.
Reddy knows that you can’t run and grow a successful company by yourself. That’s why he hires high profile, aggressive individuals that are extremely knowledgeable in the IT field.
“You have to invest in good, knowledgeable people that know the market,” said Reddy. “Good employees take the time to understand what it is the customer wants. Your strength and motivation should lay in your ability to solve the customer’s problem. Good work breeds more work.”
He’s also aware of the phrase of not putting all your eggs in one basket. “Diversification is another key to a successful business,” said Reddy. “You can’t depend on any one customer to make you successful. The more customers you have, the lower your risk profile.”
Reddy is also looking into other areas of the 8(a) program, such as the Mentor-Protégé program. He feels that the knowledge and understanding the company has in the contracting program will benefit other companies that are looking for help.
“Nobody ever got hurt by helping others,” said Reddy. “We’ve relied on assistance over the years to learn and grow and I feel we can help other companies do the same.”
If these companies follow the successful pattern Reddy has laid down, he might just have some stiff competition for the most successful company in the country.
For more information on the programs and services offered by the SBA, SBDC or SCORE, contact the West Virginia District Office at 304-623-5631 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their web site at www.sba.gov.
All SBA programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.