As the leader of Beta Soft Systems Inc., Ritu Mangla knows she has to keep her company from being stagnant in order to survive. She has done just that with a venture into India, as well as expansion across the United States. Now she is eyeing Connecticut to help keep the California company growing and to give it better access to the East Coast market.
The plan is to open an office in Connecticut in the first quarter of this year. Mangla said the company has been looking around in the state and has narrowed it down to a possible location in Milford. She believes the expansion will open many new doors, particularly in the financial industry. She points to heavyweights such as Deloitte, Accenture and Bank of America as mouthwatering potential business for Beta Soft.
“We have been doing an analysis on the East Coast market and it is very important to have a presence there,” she said.
According to Mangla, Beta Soft will appoint an executive to run the Connecticut office, but she expects to have a presence there periodically.
Started in 2005, by Ritu and her husband Vishal, Fremont, Calif.-based Beta Soft Systems offers a number of IT consulting services focusing on application development, business process management, quality assurance, business analysis, configuration management and Web products and services.
Because of the nature of the IT consulting business most of Beta Soft’s work force consists of consultants working work on location with its clients. According to Mangla, the company’s president and chief executive officer, it has approximately 700 consultants working on site. In house, Beta Soft has about 15 employees in Fremont and another 30 in its office in Panchkula, India.
The company claims close to 400 customers including big names such as Wells Fargo, eBay Inc., Yahoo! Inc., VeriSign, ING Direct USA and Citigroup Inc.
Beta Soft generated $1 million in revenue its first year and has been steadily rising every since to $4 million in 2006, $6.5 million in 2008 and expects to wrap 2010 with a least $15 million on the books.
Mangla feels the key to this growth is continuing to maintain excellent relationships with clients to keep them coming back with more work and recommending the firm to others. “We have been able to retain are good clients and still provide good service and it has been growing,” she said.
Another key has been expanding the company’s reach. Two years ago 70 percent of the Beta Soft’s business was conducted with customers in the San Francisco Bay area, in reach of its Fremont headquarters. Now, 50 percent of work comes from outside of that region. “Business has grown tremendously,” Mangla said.
Mangla credits the company’s decision to enter India as a key part of its continued success.
Originally, Mangla said Beta Soft deliberately stayed out of India, concerned that executive management did not have enough attention to keep track of a facility in another country. But the need to find cost-saving measures eventually made India a necessity. The company opened its office there in December 2008.
The move warranted a lot of travel back and forth and Mangla found herself in India every couple of months, especially in the first year. The company also struggled to find effective management on the ground in India, but is now at the point where Mangla visits only a couple of times a year. “Things are definitely working very well with the India office,” she said. “It is paying off.”
In fact, Beta Soft has recently been honored for its efforts in India. In a September ceremony in Chandigarh, Beta Soft was presented with the Software Technology Park of India “Award for Excellence for Highest Export – IT Enabled Services.” The Software Technology Park of India was set up by India’s Ministry of Communications to promote and encourage software exports from the country and is credited with helping the growth of IT and IT-enable services.
Several years ago, Beta Soft attained minority business certification from the U.S. Small Business Administration and though Mangla views receiving this certification as a very strategic move because it opens the door to the government sector the company has not really ventured into that area.
According to Mangla, she initially examined the option of government work after the minority certification, but it is traditionally a very long process bidding process and with other business booming for the company it has fallen to the back burner for now. “We want to explore that possibility, but it was not the right time and is not the right time even now,” she said.
Though, Mangla is well accustomed to her shoes as CEO, having run the company since its was started, she says she and her husband Vishal — Beta Soft’s vice president — continue to grow in their management ability on a daily basis. “When we started this company we were not effective leaders and even now we are learning,” she said.
An effective leader, in Mangla’s view, is one that mixes in the right amount of mentorship with everyday necessary direction. Micromanaging is an absolute no-no, in her view. “You have to let employees make decisions and have control,” she said. “Having them fail and then achieve – that is something I have learned to do.
“When you start your company you want to control everything,” she added. “But when you grow the team you have to let them go.”
Mangla came to the United States in 2000 with her husband, who has a background in the IT industry and marketing. She has a background as a quality assurance engineer and business analyst working with companies such as eBay, E*Trade Financial Corp. and Bank of America.