Emphasis on big data big deal for Accion Labs Inc.

Accion Labs Inc. has lofty goals.

Founded only three years ago by Kinesh DoshiTony Kernan and Sandesh Sukumaran, the company’s investors are aiming to grow the information services technology firm into a $100 million company by the end of 2015.

It’s off to a fast start: Accion’s current revenue is $35 million. It is in the process of doubling its office space, located on Boyce Road in the South Hills, by 3,000 to 3,500 square feet, and is looking to add 15 to 20 employees in Pittsburgh over the next six to 12 months, Doshi said. The company also is in the process of acquiring new businesses, which likely will bring its head count close to 1,000 by the end of the year, he said.

What’s spurred the company’s growth is its focus on big data. Accion helps companies conceptualize, design, develop and deploy commercial software products in emerging technologies that include Web 2.0, SaaS, cloud, open-source and big data.

Addressing a specific need in the market by serving companies that have a short sales cycle, Accion has been able to expand to other geographies. Today, the company has locations in Atlanta; Santa Clara, Calif.; Singapore; India; and Malaysia. Most recently, it opened offices in London and Chicago and is looking to expand to Scottsdale, Ariz., the Middle East and other parts of Europe by the end of the year.

What’s helped Accion distinguish itself from the competition, Doshi said, is its ability to define its target market and not deviate. Since its founding, Accion has focused on working closely with technology firms in the midmarket space, Doshi said.

The fastest-growing segments have been in cloud and big-data solutions, but Doshi said the company is also seeing tremendous traction in re-engineering.

“Through the economic downturn, companies were not increasing technology, but now we’re seeing a lot of customers rebuilding platforms in new products,” Doshi said, adding there has been an increase in investment in the health care technology space.

The company’s leadership also has worked to create a positive work environment for its employees, he said. This includes catering lunch every other day for employees at the Pittsburgh headquarters, as well as giving employees a paid half day off on their birthday.

“If your employees are happy, then they are going to give your customers stellar support,” Doshi said.

With its rapid growth, Doshi said acquiring talent is the biggest challenge the company faces. Currently the company is looking to fill about 100 positions across its worldwide operation, including 40 in the U.S.

“We have no shortage of demand; now it’s about trying to get a supply of talent,” he said.

Focusing on talent development and hiring is an important aspect of Accion’s growth strategy, Doshi said. As the company expands, he said Accion will stay in the tech space, but may go from mid-market customers to larger-segment clients.

And while the company is growing, Doshi said it’s important to maintain the same culture throughout its operations.

“Our global team emphasizes that if you feel like you’re working hard, you’re doing something wrong,” Doshi said. “Not that we don’t work hard, but the belief is that if you had a tough day, you did something wrong.”

He said this means having employees focus on efficiency and keeping a sustainable work/life balance.

“There are a lot of things we think we have to do that we don’t need to do,” he said. “If there’s no consequence on the outcome in the long run, we just want everyone to be happy and have a financially secure core, satisfied customers and happy employees. … That’s when the company grows.”

Accion Labs Inc.

Information technology services company focused on emerging technologies.

Top officer: Kinesh Doshi, president and CEO

Website: accionlabs.com

Percentage growth: 558.35 percent

No. of employees: 580

Top growth strategy:“We operate in a segment that is growing very fast, and I think just staying in that segment and not deviating from it has been key to our growth,” Doshi said.

NEWSJennifer Wells