Satyendra Shrivastava, president and CEO
Contracts: $51.128 million
or Anstec Inc., planning for life after the Small Business Administration's set-aside program began five years before the company left the program in June 1996.
"Half of graduating 8(a)s don't exist within one year of graduation - they're either folded or sold," said Satyendra Shrivastava, president and CEO of Anstec. "We knew what the environment would be."
While the McLean, Va.-based software development and integration company had been an 8(a) company for nine years, it had for some time been going after - and more importantly, winning - contracts outside the program.
Still, Shrivastava, well-known in the Washington area technology community as "Shri," said the designation got the company, which was founded in 1983, off the ground. "I owe the success of my company to the 8(a) program. It helped us get the contracts and become competitive in the non-8(a) arena."
The company prepared for graduation by hiring proposal writers, sales people and marketing experts that could make the transition.
About a year and a half ago, Anstec started its public sector division, which targets the state and local markets. The company now has contracts in six states. Total 1996 revenues for Anstec were $66 million.
Anstec provides a wide range of IT services including telecommunications and network systems, information systems, technical support services, information and facilities management and distributed systems to mostly federal government customers.
So far, 1997 has been a good year for the company, in which it has already won five large contracts: a Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration recompete, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. production control and computer operations contract, and an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with the state of Pennsylvania.
Teaming contracts this year so far have included a contract with Computer Sciences Corp. to modernize systems in the Patent and Trademark Office, a partnership with IBM for an IDIQ deal called the Information Resource Management Support Services contract, and an IDIQ contract for local area network administration and help desk services for the state of Pennsylvania. Anstec is now also doing work on year 2000 software conversions.
The key to Anstec's success as an 8(a), said Shrivastava, was to constantly think about moving beyond the program. "We never considered ourselves solely dependent on 8(a)," he said. "We never let the customers feel like they were giving us a handout."
The company's success in areas such as management and technical consulting, and outsourcing and project services has resulted in many awards, which in turn have become marketing tools for Anstec.
Shrivastava's awards include
the 1996 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the 1994 KPMG Peat Marwick High-Tech Entrepreneur Award, and the 1994 Small Business Person of the Year award for the Washington area.
Future plans for Anstec include an employee stock option offering that Shrivastava expects to start in early October. Under the plan, about 40 of the company's 600 employees will get Anstec stock options. The goal is to attract and retain good workers, he said.
Like many former 8(a) company CEOs, Shrivastava said he hopes the program will continue. Shrivastava's work in the area includes a past role as chairman for the Minority Business Association of Northern Virginia. "The 8(a) program has been helpful to the small and disadvantaged companies," he said. "The government should not do anything to dilute it or get rid of it."
- Shannon Henry