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The CEO Magazine
A monthly magazine for business leaders and decision makers

COGENT InfoTech: Transforming the way of doing business

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                           COGENT InfoTech: Transforming the way of doing business

COGENT InfoTech (Latin for powerful, compelling and pertinent) is a Global, Turnkey Information Technology (IT) Consulting firm that has consistently delivered innovative IT and Business solutions to both Commercial and Public Sector clients. The award-winning firm specializes in providing Digital Transformation Solutions, Top 3% Digital Talent and Social Listening solutions to Global Brands, Startups and the Public Sector. COGENT is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.

The COGENT story started in May 2003, the tail end of the dot-com bust. The Co-Founders envisioned a firm that would become a viable alternative to the Big Five consulting firms. This would provide cutting-edge solutions at realistic pricing to its clients thus enabling them to address their critical Business and IT challenges in order to stay ahead of competition. The firm’s management leverage their business experience and domain knowledge, collaborate with leading IT vendors and engage top echelon talent to help achieve their clients objective. The firm’s success to date has been a result of a hands-on approach of the Co-Founders of the organization and the support of a highly motivated team that is enthusiastic and passionate. Almost all of the company’s divisions have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years despite adverse economic conditions. This can be attributed to a rapidly expanding client base comprising of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Fortune 1000 and the Public Sector coupled with the ability to consistently react and adapt to ever changing market dynamics.

To have a more nuanced understanding of the matters pertaining to the firm, our editorial team spoke to the Founder and President of COGENT Infotech Corporation, Manu Mehta. Here are the edited excerpts.

What problem does your company solve and how are you different from others in the field?

It is virtually impossible for companies to survive and thrive in today’s highly competitive, globalized business environment without digitally transforming their outdated legacy systems and business management practices. COGENT helps firms and organizations in their digital metamorphosis by identifying their key goals and using relevant digital technologies to create a Digital transformation strategy that forms the basis of their transformation campaign.  Some of these digital technologies are – Mobile & Cloud, Internet of Things, Cyber Security, Analytics & Insights and Artificial Intelligence. Our approach to identifying and solving crucial business problems while using innovative technology as an enabler sets us apart from the rest. To put things in perspective, if a customer is struggling with customer retention and engagement, COGENT uses state-of-art NLP and AI technology to analyze large-scale customer conversations in order to understand the audience that matters to their brand and provide insights into their opinions, behavior, demographics, and interests. These data-driven actionable customer insights can then be used for product innovation, targeted marketing campaigns and other business objectives.

What are the current challenges faced by your company?

To maintain the quality, COGENT is committed to providing its customers Top 3% digital talent. Recruiting and retaining this talent is the biggest challenge that the company is facing currently.

How do you motivate yourself and others?

Ensuring that everybody stays motivated is quite a difficult task. The firm deploys various tactics such as empowerment, challenging assignments, clear cut roles & responsibilities, constant learning and development initiatives with industry leading compensation and benefits to ensure that the team stays motivated.

How do you learn in your life?

I have made a habit of learning from mistakes. I believe mistakes and time are the greatest teachers. I enhance my learning curve by reading autobiographies of successful people to avoid disasters. 

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Give us an example of a professional setback and how did you overcome it.

During the 2008 financial crisis, COGENT’s business remained limited to the banking and financial services vertical only. The company was devastated and blown back by the financial meltdown, and it had to reinvent itself by further diversifying its portfolio of clients across different verticals. At this time, the company began its initial foray in the Public Sector. Today Public Sector accounts for over 45% of the company’s revenues. The company is now pretty much recession-proof, and a financial crisis similar to the one in 2008 will have minimal effect on the company.

What does your current client profile look like?

Our client list is very much varied starting with the Global Brands, System Integrators and the Public Sector. Our recent emphasis has been on the Public Sector. In the last 15 years, COGENT has provided services to 65+ Fortune 500’s and successfully completed 400+ digital transformation projects.

Some of COGENT’s accolades are

  • COGENT was twice nominated (2007 & 2009) to the prestigious TECH 50 Awards hosted by the Pittsburgh Technology Council as one of the finalists in the service provider category
  • The Pittsburgh Business Times voted COGENT as one of the TOP 100 Fastest Growing Companies in 2009
  • The firm proudly announced its selection for the National Top Diversity Business Award TOP 500 Asian Owned Businesses in The U.S. It endorses the firm’s philosophy of championing diversity in business and recognizes COGENT as one of the top diverse firms in the country
  • The firm was selected as one of the Top 100 privately held businesses in The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by DiversityBusiness.com

About COGENT’s Dynamic Leadership

Manu Mehta is the Founder and President of COGENT Infotech Corp. He is an industry veteran with decades of experience. His industry knowledge includes Business Analysis, Leadership, Program Management and Strategy. His other skills include management and new business development. His keen interest in the Entrepreneurial world can be easily gauged by his interests in the personalities like Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, and Mark Cuban. Other dignitaries are Nandan Banerjee, another Founding member and CEO of the group. Justin Acord is the Chief Sales Officer, Thomas Ferguson is the Chief Legal Officer, with Narinder Koul as Chief Operations Officer and Sandeep Malhotra as the Chief HR Officer.

President’s message

COGENT has truly emerged as an international firm that comprises of a rich workforce hailing from over eleven countries. “We clearly understand that it is our diversity and not putting all eggs in one basket strategy which sets us apart. Our diversity is not limited to our backgrounds but includes a more powerful diversity of talent, strengths and ideas.”Our mantra for success is simple – Ensuring satisfaction of our clients by delivering what we promise – on time, every time and within budget. Our growth strategy is primarily based on “repeat” business fueled by word-of-mouth referrals. Some of the other reasons why our clients choose us over competition are – commitment to our client’s success, technology investments coupled with strong partnerships, access to Top 3% digital talent, low employee attrition and corporate philosophy: integrity meets diversity,” says Manu.

COGENT’s future plans involve

Building a firm based on strong ethical relationships with its clients, stakeholders and employees. It is because of these guiding principles that despite several recessions in the last decade, the firm has reinvented itself and emerged much stronger than before. The firm has been constantly innovating and based on market trends adding new revenue streams spread across verticals and technologies. The firm currently holds in a prime capacity, over twenty-five high visibility IT consulting contracts in the SLED (state, local, education) vertical and deep synergistic partnerships with system integrators such as Deloitte, IBM, etc. The firm is very well positioned in the current highly competitive landscape and is on track to achieve its next target – To be a “Partner of Choice” for its clients and to be an “Employer of choice” for its existing/prospective employees.

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