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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2019

Connecting the best IT professionals in the business with opportunities at forward-thinking companies: First Tek

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“It’s a no brainer. Do what is good for the employees and the clients, and success will follow.”

First Tek was founded in 2001 with a vision to provide quality, cost-effective services, and solutions. The company assists clients in achieving mission-critical business objectives using state-of-the-art technologies while maximizing their ability to deliver value to their customers.

From its origins partnering with leading companies to connect them with top technology talent, First Tek CEO and Founder Kumar Bhavanasi have leveraged his exceptional connections to grow and expand its services to include custom software design and development for web and mobile applications for clients across the United States. 

A developer himself, Bhavanasi built First Tek by first identifying and cultivating talented individuals working in emerging technologies, then connecting them to clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to state governments.He has a passion for driving efficiency and developing synergies among employees, clients, and vendors. By continually striving to understand what will make his clients and people successful, he collaboratively develops the long-term strategic vision and an efficient tactical plan and motivates his team to get results. He is the driving force behind First Tek’s success since its founding and guardian of the company’s loyalty and dedication to its clients and employees.

First Tek has repeatedly demonstrated its capability to successfully provide candidates to diversified IT industries throughout the nation. The company’s response rate has historically not only been rapid but also regarded as high quality according to clients.

Scaling Operations

A testament to the company’s culture and focus on quality and integrity is that First Tek has grown its employee and client base primarily through referrals and repeat business, with very little other marketing.

From an initial focus in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, First Tek now has more than 1500 employees serving clients across the United States and around the world, with projected revenue of $120 million in 2019. The client list includes some of the biggest companies in the world such as 3M, AAA, AT&T, BMW, Bank of America, Bank of the West, City of Beverly Hills, Bonneville Power Administration, BlackDuck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CBS, CableLabs, CafeX, Canon, Deckers, eBay, Fox, H&R Block, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Mercedes Benz, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Netflix, Northrop Grumman, Olympus, Oracle, Philadelphia Insurance Company, Planet Fitness, Plum, Rand McNally, ReMax, SAP, Sapient, Stanford University, TD Bank, Ten-X, Toyota, Walgreens, Walmart, and many others.

Developing First Tek’s Culture

First Tek has a global workforce with a wide spectrum of skillsets and capabilities from a vast range of countries and cultures working together for a common cause. By bringing together these unique identities, First Tek supports the systems, services, and processes that run the world’s most powerful companies.

Despite its rapid growth, First Tek employees remain loyal to the company, with an average tenure of more than a decade. Much of that retention is attributable to the company’s consistent focus on professional development, first hiring the best and the brightest individuals, then making a significant investment in training to keep certifications current or ahead of trends. From the very first day, we want our employees to contribute their own ideas for the development of the company and feel like they are part of something bigger.

In addition to providing professional development opportunities for employees, First Tek provides Instructor-Led Training (ILT) in support of customers’ information technology. Tailored specifically toward technical changes made within an organization, First Tek’s training curriculums are centered on leading-edge products and services, with a focus on employee performance improvement through an effective and measurable transfer of knowledge.

First Tek employees are motivated by a variety of perks beyond excellent professional development opportunities and great leadership. In addition to access to typical insurance and retirement benefits, employees have the opportunity to earn additional compensation based on their client service and the revenue they generate. They also enjoy access to a variety of work across different technologies, skillsets, verticals, client types and geographic locations.

While there is a boundless opportunity for First Tek employees, there is also a strong emphasis on work-life balance. Employees are encouraged to keep regular hours, then leave the work at the office and focus on their lives outside the office. In addition, vacation time is “use it or lose it,” so employees are strongly encouraged to schedule a time to disconnect periodically.

Growth and Innovation

Innovation can’t exist in a vacuum and in today’s world, the future depends on innovation. As a company that has built its success in developing new technology to improve the way IT professionals work, First Tek does its best to create an environment where forward-thinking ideas are celebrated and rewarded. Managers hold regular brainstorming sessions to recognize creative ideas and collaborate on ways to bring those ideas to fruition.

First Tek believes that true growth can only be meaningful when it is inclusive. This is why they focus on cultivating an open, friendly environment that pushes experimentation and exploration, both as an employee and an individual. Open interaction with senior management is encouraged, healthy competition is rewarded, and outstanding performance is recognized, none of which could exist without the environment First Tek has spent years cultivating.

First Tek values simplicity, creativity, integrity, independence, and most of all, respect. These values are not only fundamental to the culture and the business, but they guide the actions of their employees every day.

The company shows its belief in its values beyond company walls and is active in a variety of philanthropic pursuits, both financially and through volunteering, and is looking to do more in the future.

Roadmap Ahead

As for the future, Bhavanasi sees continued growth for First Tek and its affiliates. He anticipates expanding the company’s footprint by adding locations, new skillsets, and emerging technologies through acquisitions of companies that show strong growth and profitability.

The mastermind behind the masterstroke

Kumar Bhavanasi has always had a passion for driving efficiency and developing synergies among employees, clients, and vendors. He continually strives to understand what will make his clients and people successful, then collaboratively develops the long-term strategic vision and an efficient tactical plan and motivates his team to get results. He is the driving force behind First Tek’s success.

A veteran of the IT services arena, Kumar specializes in strategic planning, executive client relationships, driving revenue, and extending the overall business model through strategic partnerships. Kumar’s accomplishments include building enterprise systems for Fleet Bank, ADP Brokerage and Morgan Stanley and establishing strategic alliances with many of First Tek’s clients.

“Employees come first. Without employees, we wouldn’t have a business. And the longer they stay with us, the better and more productive they are. We have a great team of tenured employees who are accountable, self-directed and get things done efficiently.”-Kumar Bhavanasi