As a boy growing up in India, Bala Shan became fascinated with computers, and the place where computer technology originated. “Computers came from America, and I wanted to go to America to see how computers were made. That’s what started me thinking about coming here,” he says. Today Shahn is an American citizen, and his IT consulting company, Lorven Technologies, has about 100 people working for it.
Lorven does some work in IT projects for clients, such as data visualization. “We can take any kind of data and make a nice, beautiful report,” Shan says. However, the vast majority of Lorven’s work — about 85 percent — is IT staffing. The company has a headquarters in Plainsboro with five employees, and four offices in India where recruiters look for candidates to fill tech jobs mostly in banking, finance, security, insurance, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries.
Although the recruiters are based in India, where a technically skilled workforce commands lower wages than their American counterparts, the workers they recruit are in America and fill positions at American companies all across the country. Lorven enjoys an advantage in being a certified minority- owned business, which means that governments and large companies can use it to fulfill mandates that a certain percentage of all contracts go to minority-owned businesses.
Shan says that currently, his firm is looking for candidates for about 200 positions, with the most in-demand skills being Java cloud programming and data analytics. “Right now the whole world is going digital. We’re always hiring people in that area,” he says.
Lorven currently has about $10 million a year in revenue, but Shan hopes to grow that figure to $100 million by 2020 and “provide a job for whoever is looking for one.”
Shan, the son of a health inspector father and homemaker mother, majored in engineering in college with the goal of coming to America to work on computers. His dream became a reality in 1995 when he moved to the U.S. and got a job with the Department of Transportation in Maryland, where he worked with the government’s legacy mainframe computers and the decades-old COBOL code that they ran.
He later moved to Piscataway and then East Windsor, where he got a job with Paragon, a consulting company, and did work for Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, IBM, Lucent, and other companies. Shan says that while he was doing this job, he would frequently get calls from people he knew who were looking for positions. In 2001, while still working at Paragon, he founded Lorven Technologies and ran the company out of his home. Three years later, he quit his job to focus on Lorven full time, setting up the company in an office on Princeton-Hightstown Road. In 2008 he moved to Morgan Lane and remains there today.
In addition to staffing and data visualization, Lorven has created its own software — a social, collaborative communications portal for teachers and students in schools. The software is used in about 100 Indian schools, Shan says.
Shan has essentially lived the American dream of immigrating to the country and setting up his own business. Shan was recently featured in Smart CEO Magazine, and Loven was listed by NJ Biz as one of the state’s 50 fastest-growing companies. He and his wife, Divia, who is a systems analyst for Bloomberg, have a daughter who is starting high school this year at Stuart Country Day School and a son in middle school.
Shan says his company stands out from its competitors by understanding exactly what its customers are looking for. “We work very closely with clients and we find the right person at the right time,” he says.
Lorven Technologies Inc., 101 Morgan Lane, Suite 209, Plainsboro 08536. 609-918-9607. Bala Shan, president & CEO. www.lorventech.com