TAKING ON THE ‘BIG BOYS’
Sandesh Sharda, president and founder of Miracle Systems, aspires to take on the “big boys” in federal government and military consulting — as long as he doesn’t have to sacrifice the values that have taken him from being a solo entrepreneur in 2003 to an employer of 330 people today. For Sharda, these values include loyalty, keeping commitments and working hard, something he doesn’t hesitate to do himself.
Daniel Fletcher Jr., SVP at Miracle Systems, explains that when there is a problem with a project, Sharda “is willing to offer himself. He’ll call the client and say, ‘I’ll come over. I’ll roll up my sleeves if you need me to.’ He has a passion for problem solving and making things better. That [mentality] is embedded in everything we do. It’s why we’re a successful company.”
“There is no substitute for hard work,” Sharda says. “Our philosophy is that whether you are going out to win work or to support our customers, you’ve got to put 100 percent into that effort. Everybody knows that.”
Sharda is quick to add, however, that there are no negative repercussions when something doesn’t work out. “I understand that there are going to be wins and there are going to be losses. That’s just the nature of our industry,” he says.
Sharda’s respect for hard work plays out in his management style. “I think lean is the way to go and hands-on is the way to go,” he says. Sharda, who worked for Oracle Consulting and other multinational corporations before starting his own company, believes too many layers of management isolate company leaders from their customers and employees.
“Miracle Systems has a very flat organization,” he explains. “We have 14 executive management team members, and they all have direct access to me. Each of them has direct access to the customers and the employees they are supporting. They have the authority to make whatever decision they need to on the ground. I don’t get involved unless there is [an unusual] situation, and luckily, because these are all good people, I don’t have to step
Executives have a good deal of responsibility as well as authority. “Each one stays with a project from start to finish; they are not doing just one portion of the work,” says Sharda. “That is one of the things they love about our company. At most places they have been, they don’t have that kind of authority.”
“It’s a small business and we all wear many hats,” Fletcher says. “When you are involved in a project from beginning to end, you are not stuck doing the same process repeatedly. [Sharda] wants us to be able to support Miracle Systems from client interface to delivery.”
After 13 years in business, Miracle Systems is growing exponentially. “In the last 12 months, our company has doubled its size, and we think that … we are going to even double that size again,” Sharda says. “As a small business owner, what drives me is to see how far we can go to challenge the biggest and the best in the business.”
Miracle Systems provides consulting to the federal government and the military in the areas of IT consulting, engineering services, and financial and program management. Its clients include the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Justice and Air Force.
Although Miracle Systems’ growth may someday require the addition of outside executive talent, Sharda wants to make sure the people who have gotten the company to this point continue to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. “Anyone new has to work with my existing management team. These people have invested in the company, and I want to see all of them succeed,” says Sharda. Sharda is a man of his word, and that ethic guides the entire company.
“Once we make a commitment to an employee, a government customer or any of our partners, we are going to honor that commitment,” he says. “People see that we do not go back on our word.”
Photo: Sandesh Sharda, President and Founder. Not pictured: Daniel Fletcher Jr., SVP