Ventech Solutions Inc. will nearly triple its staff over the coming year to about 320 nationwide for a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services contract – but the ultimate goal is 1,000 jobs.
The Columbus information technology company has specialized in government hardware and software jobs for the past five years. Its big win this spring – the $410 million health quality data management project for CMS – brings its total contracts in hand to $515 million over 10 years.
Ventech has proposals submitted for eight-figure jobs that will be awarded in fall, and is working on bids due this summer to other agencies.
The company starts work on bids 12 to 18 months in advance, pulling in vendors and subcontractors and hiring for the skills the job would require. It tracks state and federal contracts that will expire in coming years and follows services that alert bidders to coming opportunities.
“If you wait until it’s time to bid, it’s too late,” CEO Herb Jones said. “You need to have understanding of the customer and understand the program.”
One tactic to growth is to parlay federal work into bidding on state jobs in new locations, or translating one successful state project to another: Work on IT for pipeline safety for New Mexico’s fire marshal led to bidding on underground gas storage tank safety in Ohio. Work for the city of New Orleans led it to bid on a project for Louisiana.
“Wherever we’re going to establish a presence, we’re going to do business with that state,” founder and President Ravi Kunduru said.
Today Ventech has about 120 employees, many in small teams at client sites such as the Defense Supply Center Columbus in Whitehall. It moved its Columbus headquarters to Orion Place four months ago and is hiring for another federal jobto triple that office to about 65 employees. The 200 new jobs added for the CMS contract, mostly in Maryland and Virginia, will include hires from the previous vendor.
Kunduru said honest and open communication will help transferred employees adopt the Ventech corporate culture. Game rooms in the new offices can help.
“These are all IT people who want to do something cool,” Kunduru said “Once we show them how we can do it, I think they’ll get on it pretty quickly.”