Brain Power to Business Power

Mr. Sridhara Gutti has possessed entrepreneurial ambitions from a young age and was consistently focused on the goal of leveraging his full intellectual potential to work on building something impactful. He started his career in the geospatial field and furthered his education at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Mr. Gutti eventually started his own company, Essnova Solutions, Inc., in 2005, which held the original mission of providing innovative solutions for power companies and utilities.

Mr. Gutti knew he wanted to expand the scope of his business at Essnova past geospatial work, so as the company continued to grow, it further expanded and diversified itself. Today, Essnova provides a wide variety of technology and programmatic support services to the federal government including cloud migration, robotic process automation, human centered design, customer experience and GIS/environmental services. Mr. Gutti takes pride in his team, explaining that Essnova ignores limitations that normally hold companies back and highlighted how his team asks the tough questions in order to move forward and excel for clients.

Mr. Gutti originally came into contact with the Atlanta MBDA Business Center after attending a National Small Business Association Conference in Atlanta, and he began working with the Centers in 2019.

The Atlanta MBDA Centers’ programs and trainings have been a wonderful resource for Essnova. Our company has been fortunate to take part in industry-specific training programs that have helped our business thrive. When things like federal compliance requirements are updated, we know we can count on the support of the MBDA and their larger corporate sponsors to help us get up to speed. We have an ecosystem of resources at our fingertips, and Donna Ennis was a big part of making that happen for Essnova. Our company has the ability to continue learning thanks to the partnerships created by the MBDA. – Mr. Sridhara Gutti

Essnova greatly values its relationship with the Atlanta MBDA Centers, noting the resources provided by the group are invaluable to businesses and their teams. Mr. Gutti also commented on the PPP funding Essnova received through the CARES Act, stating that his company was able to continue to grow and pull in new business in 2020, even in the midst of a pandemic.

Recently, Essnova Solutions was ranked No. 20 on the Financial Times list of Fastest Growing Companies in the Americas. Due to Mr. Gutti and his team’s hard work and aligned vision, Essnova has enjoyed triple-digit growth. Essnova continues to add roles like proposal managers, business development, program managers and technology talent as the company continues to expand in federal contracting, education and commercial, state and local sectors. To further facilitate exponentially growing and expanding services into various federal agencies, Essnova is looking to establish relationships with strong mentors through the SBA Mentor-Protégé program. As far as physical growth goes, Essnova is currently looking to open satellite offices in Washington D.C., Huntsville, Atlanta and, possibly, Colorado.

To learn more about Essnova Solutions and Sridhara Gutti, make sure to visit LinkedIn @Sridhara Gutti and Twitter @SriGutti. Or you can visit essnova.com to learn more about the company!

A Twenty Year Partnership

Ken Taunton, the founder of The Royster Group, originally began his career as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company covering his home state of Alabama and the Washington D.C. territories. After six years in the sales organization, he was promoted to be the Southeast Regional Recruiter headquartered in Atlanta, and Mr. Taunton described the excitement and passion that recruiting brought him. One day on an airplane, Mr. Taunton found himself in a conversation with a Managing Partner who worked for an international executive search firm. Following this conversation, Mr. Taunton was later interviewed at a competing firm and hired in their healthcare recruiting division.

Upon the burst of the tech bubble in the ’90s, the recruiting firm Mr. Taunton worked for downsized from 60 associates to 20 as a struggling economy results in few open job positions to fill. When one of the partners of his agency left the firm, Mr. Taunton quickly decided to make a shift to starting his company. Over his working experience, Mr. Taunton recognized the lack of diversity in executive candidate pools. He felt that his focus on presenting qualified and diverse candidates would serve as his niche for his firm. On September 1, 2001, Mr. Taunton founded The Royster Group.

Mr. Taunton described the difficulty of opening up his business just days before the tragic events of 9/11. With an economy on lockdown and an extreme sense of uncertainty surrounding all aspects of life, a new business venture proved to be very difficult. As Mr. Taunton navigated through the unfolding chaos, he put most of his focus on finding certifications and associates which would help ground his business and open the door for The Royster Group’s long-term success. Through this process, Mr. Taunton read about the services offered by the Atlanta MBDA Centers, which assisted clients in applying for business certifications and securing contracts. Mr. Taunton quickly reached out to the centers and has been a client ever since.

Working with the center for approximately 20 years, Mr. Taunton commented on how he has relied on the Atlanta MBDA Centers for various needs as his company has grown over time.

“When an entrepreneur starts a company, you don’t have the workforce or the capacity to help write proposals or help with the tools that are needed to evaluate pricing standpoints for different agencies. The centers were a huge piece of my process from the start. Also, from the operations side, I established systems that led to a more developed structure as we grew. As a result, I could focus on larger scale projects and contracts.” Ken Taunton

Mr. Taunton spoke about how recently the Centers, particularly, helped The Royster Group secure a spot as one of 36 companies to participate in a $7.5 billion government contract with the Defense Health Agency.  This fantastic opportunity for the company marks just one of the many successes The Royster Group has experienced as of late. This past year, The Royster Group achieved $22 million in revenue as they have been focusing primarily on recruiting healthcare providers for government agencies across the country. Holding firm to the ultimate vision of saving lives and eradicating unemployment, The Royster Group operates on its core values of customer service, integrity, teamwork, accountability, and respect.

To learn more about The Royster Group, please visit their website and LinkedIn page.

Resiliency in Business

Leonard Wright began his career working for a software company after graduating from college. In this position, Mr. Wright managed the productions and operations for the company. Through this work, he noticed the large amount of courier freight services that the company used, and Mr. Wright began to mark up their own courier pricing. Through this process, Mr. Wright became aware of the opportunity that existed in courier servicing, and in 1993, Mr. Wright established his own courier company. New to the business field at the time, Mr. Wright unfortunately had to close down this company in 1998. By October of 2000, however, Mr. Wright’s resilient and persistent attitude led him to open Inpax Shipping Solutions which today pulls in $30 million in revenue.

Mr. Wright noted that he first came into contact with the Atlanta MBDA Centers in 2003. Serving as a member of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, Mr. Wright was introduced to Donna Ennis, current Project Director for the Atlanta MBDA Centers. Over years of working together, Mr. Wright described a number of projects he and the Centers collaborated on including developing management teams, hosting seminars at Georgia Tech, and discussions with various financial groups. Mr. Wright noted that his partnership with the Atlanta MBDA Centers has developed over the years as his business has continued to grow.

“As far as the Centers go, I think they run a very good program. It’s definitely been a help to us over the years. From everything to keeping us in the know about what’s happening from a small business/minority business perspective to financial/economy trends. It’s been great to be in the program… The information that I get from the group is very informative and very helpful. Overall, I’m very pleased with being a part of the program.” Leonard Wright

Mr. Wright noted that recently Atlanta MBDA Center’s Business Advisor Anita Davis helped his organization secure $3 million of funding for the acquisition of Freedom Freight Services in 2020. As Inpax Shipping Solutions continues to grow, they are seeking to one day achieve over $100 million in sales through various mergers and acquisitions.

To learn more about Inpax Shipping Solutions make sure to visit their website.