Tanveer Patel started ConcertCare 10 years ago. At the time, the company focused on alleviating the pain of healthcare providers and improving their clinical and operational outcomes with technology.
Patel's goal was always innovation. She wanted to be passionate about her work and to let that fuel the company, so she worked diligently, wearing many different hats, and growing the company.
"Innovation was a focus," Patel said. "We didn't want to do just a substandard job or what everyone else was doing, but we wanted to do something which will become innovative and creative, and that will improve the existing products and services of our customers."
Now ConcertIDC, the company, has grown into an international custom software development firm working with all different industries and constantly keeping ahead of the curve. The journey has been long but filled with steadfast determination and grit.
When Patel first began ConcertCare, there were many factors she took into consideration. She knew she wanted to create jobs, solve problems, make a profit, and create a sustainable business model. Moreover, Patel was motivated by her deep knowledge of business practices in India and America.
Patel has been in the United States since she was 19 years old. In the years since she has worked in many corporate landscapes and developed a profound knowledge of what corporate America seeks and values.
With her understanding of corporate America and her appreciation for the culture she was raised in, she saw an opportunity to embrace both worlds and become a bridge between India and the US as companies, cultures, and economies.
"My mission was to offer a unique value proposition to both the countries in their own distinct ways," said Patel. "My roots in India allowed me to appreciate the nuances of its culture and the intricacies of business practices. My time in the US provided me with insight into the fast-paced, result-oriented innovation for corporate America. So, I became like a conduit."
Beyond her passion for combining these two cultures to create the best environment for innovation, she also recognized the cost efficiency of having a highly skilled and cost-effective workforce in India, with a headquarters in Birmingham.
Having teams in both countries meant that ConcertCare works around the clock for its customers so they can get things to the market faster. This model is one that, to this day, ensures ConcertIDC's promise of excellence for its customers.
Patel partnered with Vinoth Sudaroli and Srinivasan Ganesan, ConcertIDC's Vice President (India) and Vice President of Business Development and Employee Development, respectively.
Vinoth and Srinivasan had been working together with a small team in India since 2008. When Patel sought out a team of offshore developers, they knew it was the right move for their company.
The first few years of developing ConcertCare were challenging. Trying to establish the company's operations proved to be a considerable feat as they tried to manage all the things that go into a startup.
They prioritized strong leadership, innovation, marketing, sound financial management, scalability, talent acquisition and retention, and adoption of new technology. Vinoth emphasizes that there was a significant learning curve through the first few years. They had to shift from being only focused on delivery and work to building the foundation of a company that could continue to grow.
"Me and my partners had to wear many different hats, and so did my employees," said Patel.
Patel's experiences integrating into the local tech scene informed how she began to grow ConcertCare. In the first several years, she was heavily focused on that aspect of the company because "when you know people, you can get their business."
Vinoth and Srinivasan prioritized delegation and the growth of their employees. They allowed employees to take on more prominent roles and learn from each other.
"Keeping employee engagement is key," Srinivasan said. "We used to conduct a session for the people to show their skills to the entire team so that other people can learn from them."
After six years of hard work to grow the company on both a micro and macro level, Patel sensed it was time to usher in the next phase of growth. She understood that real growth means constantly evolving.
"My strengths lie in starting a company and growing it to a certain level where we have worked out all the challenges and issues, the pains and sufferings, to create a model which is sustainable," said Patel.
Her next move was to introduce someone to bring the structure and accountability necessary for large teams, customers, and project execution. In 2019, she brought Debra Hays in as the Chief Operating Officer of ConcertCare.
Hays was excited about the opportunity because 21 years earlier, she had worked with Patel. She knew it was necessary to put the proper infrastructure and foundation in place to push the company forward.
In 2020, she made the transition from COO to CEO.
Right as Hays stepped in as CEO, the pandemic hit. This was a setback, but the company continued to grow steadily. They focused on progressing with their existing customers while adding other turnkey customers. They ensured every project was delivered excellently to maintain the business and grow in Birmingham.
"We also knew that we were going to have to do mergers and acquisitions to grow," said Hays.
In late 2019, before the pandemic hit, Hays attended the ConcertCare Annual Celebration in India, where she met Brandon Barker. At the time, Barker was CEO of International Development Connection, a software development company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with an offshore development team.
Upon their first meeting, Hays and Barker joked about the potential of a merger between their companies. Still, neither one seriously considered the potential until the middle of the pandemic.
When the pandemic hit, both CEOs had kids struggling with online school. They reconnected over the idea for VirtuOwl, an online platform designed to enable educators to better care for their students with a system built to support them.
They focused on VirtuOwl as a one-off collaboration, a test run of sorts. The ConcertCare team owned the backend and the web application, and the IDC team owned the mobile application. After about 8-9 months, they saw the synergies of their teams, and halfway through 2021, they decided to take the leap and merge.
"We were acting as one, at least within this project that we're doing, so Debra started really analyzing," Barker said. "Let's look at the numbers. Let's look at your projections and our projections. Let's look at our assets and resources and yours. The more we started analyzing those components of our businesses independently, we realized when you merge those two teams together, it creates a stronger revenue model."
IDC and ConcertCare faced many of the same challenges, and a merger allowed the company to fill in critical gaps that had been identified as things they needed but didn't yet have. Too many people were wearing too many hats, and a merger meant everyone would be free to focus on the area they excel in.
"IDC allowed us to grow into other geographies. It allowed us to bring in key management people both in India and the US. It also allowed us to bring in strategic selling. Brandon is more bent towards sales, whereas I am more bent towards operations and operational growth, so it was a good mix of skill sets," said Hays.
By Oct. 2021, Hays and Barker had laid out a plan and started to present it to the owners and founders of each company. After about three months of handling the legal side, the merger finally happened. They executed the contract on Dec. 31, 2021.
On Jan. 1, 2022, ConcertIDC was official. The merger allowed the company to flourish because each component slid into place. Everyone was able to focus on their specific areas, but more than that, ConcertIDC was allowed to be more focused with its assets and resources.
Since the merger, Hays has focused on the operational and strategic things every CEO must do. She has ensured the right operational leaders are in place to empower her to focus on strategic elements. This includes growing a network in the Middle East, facilitating leadership conferences, and participating in other organizations.
Barker is now the Chief Revenue Officer of ConcertIDC and has been able to focus on driving revenue growth and growing the pipeline.
The merger slated new leadership into place with James Sowder as the VP of Operation (US), Sanjay Bhati as COO of India Operations, Cecil Bostany as CFO, and Kannan K as Director of Technology.
The combination of leaders from IDC and ConcertCare has laid the stage for the next phase of growth for the company.
"We have a solid foundation of resources, team members, and a history that is going to put us in a position for exponential growth. I think that now we are set for that opportunity, and we just must go get it," said Barker.
This year, the company has begun to grow in new ways. ConcertIDC secured its first single million-dollar contract and its first contract in the Middle East.
Now, the ConcertIDC team is looking ahead to what the next 10 years may hold while giving massive credit to every single employee that has made the past 10 years so successful.
"There are many differences from when we started in 2013, and now the company is at a different stage. It's all the collaboration and support of each and every person who contributed towards the company's growth. It is the people on the ground level and the leadership level who are responsible for where we are now," said Vinoth.
Hays sees a future where the company opens offices in other countries, like Ireland or South America. She believes this is only the beginning for ConcertIDC.
"I'm very proud of what we've all done together. I think we've put the leaders of the future in place, and really, we can go anywhere," said Hays.
Barker attributes the company's success to not only the employees who have been with the company through its many challenges but also the founders and owners of the organization, whose passion has made it possible to thrive.
"I would say it's not just our people within the organization that are employees, but also the founders, the owners of the organization," said Barker. "It's not just our people behind the scenes that make the daily grind happen and deliver because if we didn't do that, we wouldn't be anywhere, but our growth and opportunities for growth in the future are really coming from our owners."
ConcertIDC is poised to continue innovating and growing, and it all comes back to the goals Tanveer Patel set when she first began the company. Her passion for this company has been a guiding light for all the leaders that have followed, and she is eager to see how the company continues to grow.
"I'm just super excited, and I am just amazed at the way we have grown. When you put the right leaders in place, only good things, actually, great things happen. I have never been as excited about the company as much as I am this year," Patel said.