Starting a business is hard enough, maintaining long-lasting client relationships even tougher. Sam Malhotra, founder and CEO of Subsystems, an IT services company based in Rosslyn, Va., is a master of both. Two of Subsystems“™ major clients for nearly 20 years are the FAA and the US Army. The list doesn“™t stop there. Nor does the company“™s exceedingly bright financial forecast. In the following Q&A, Malhotra talks about how his company has successfully made the transition from small business to one that can compete with the big companies and pick up major, long-lasting clients along the way.
How did you manage to build Subsystems from the ground up?
Sam Malhotra: We started this company on a foundation of solid, clear core values. We built on that foundation and evolved by adding members to our strong management team. But it“™s not just about collecting high caliber people. It“™s about teamwork. The team must function as a fully synchronized unit. It“™s analogous to putting them into a competitive rowing crew type of situation; where each of them pulls their oar in the same direction, at the same pace with the same momentum.
Tell us about your key customers.
Sam Malhotra: We find and stay with our customers by building lasting relationships. That is how we started and stayed with our two major clients, the FAA since 1992 and the US Army since 1993. Also among our key customers is the Homeland Security Department where our work has endured since 1988 through our continuous support of the Immigration and Naturalization Services. Our work with DEA started in 2000. EPA is our newest client.