Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the February 5, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Limy John: NewAge Entrepreneur
NewAge Systems is an unusual software services company
because it is surviving the economic downturn. The eight-year-old
company made the New Jersey Fast 50 list for the past three years.
It has also distinguished itself by having a woman engineer at the
helm. Limy John, president and CEO, graduated from an engineering
school and has a master’s degree in computer science. She founded
the company with her husband, "Johnny" John, who has the title
of vice president and chief technology officer.
Though Limy John can do programming, she doesn’t have much time for
that now. "Initially I used to do sales, and now I spend more
time trying to find good people and doing strategic planning. We are
looking for good salespeople and high tech consultants," she says.
NewAge has 12 employees on Vaughn Drive and 60 employees on the sites
of its clients, which include New York Life, Aventis Pharmaceuticals,
Merck, Chubb Insurance, Hoffman LaRoche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, IBM,
Dow Jones, Lockheed Martin, Computer Associates, Telcordia, CompUSA,
and Unisys. Some work is done offshore, in Cochin, India.
The company expanded from 1,200 square feet in Somerset to 3,600 feet
at Vaughn Drive in order to be near the train station. The Johns and
their two children (a preschool daughter and a first-grade son) hope
to move from Franklin Park to West Windsor soon.
NewAge Systems offers IT solutions and support systems, including
networks and data centers, customer relationship management, and custom
software development (client/server, multi-tier, and E-commerce).
It also sets up, administers, and maintains large databases.
The company made the New Jersey Fast 50 list (of the fastest growing
technology companies) for three years in a row. In 2000 it made the
Inc. 500 list. Figured over a five year period it charted a 1779 percent
increase in revenue.
Limy John credits her ambition to her mother, who kept telling her
to never stay home and to find a job. She grew up in Cochin, in the
Indian state of Kerala, where her grandparents and parents farmed
rubber, cardamom, pepper, ginger, and coconut. Talented in math, she
went to M.A. College of Engineering in Cochin, Class of 1989, and
to the regional engineering college of Karnataka for her master’s
degree in computer science and custom software. She worked for Tata
Consultancy Services in Chennai and Bombay.
Both she and her husband are Roman Catholics and as often happens
in India, the couple were introduced to each other by parents and
family friends. Johnny was on vacation from a job with IBM in Florida
when he met his future bride. He had graduated in 1986 from the Regional
Engineering School in Calicut, Kerala. Just after the couple settled
in New Jersey, in 1993, Limy got a job at PaineWebber and Johnny worked
as a database administrator for McKinsey & Company. He has also worked
at Chubb, and she has also worked at Medco, PricewaterhouseCoopers,
and Merrill Lynch.
"I was basically an ambitious person. I worked as a consultant
and talked with consulting companies to know a little about what they
do, and slowly I started this business." They kept their day jobs,
hired some employees, and worked on the weekends. Limy remembers that
they landed their first client, Georgia Pacific in Atlanta, by doing
"cold calling, cold calling, cold calling."
She hires workers from both her own country and from here. "We
used to do H-1 visas, but now we hire mostly U.S. citizens because
there is a big labor pool over here," she says.
From the beginning, Limy has had the title of CEO and owns 60 percent
of the company. That is partly because her husband kept his day job
while she had two children and started the company. "I was putting
more time in the business," she says, "and I had my parents
here to help me with the children."
Having Limy as CEO also qualifies her company to be certified as both
a woman-owned and minority-owned business by New Jersey, the Small
Business Administration, and the Port Authority. She has not gone
after government business but has instead concentrated on the private
sector, going to the diversity representatives of corporations to
get on the approved vendor list.
Such certification helps in a down economy. Asked for other reasons
why her company has managed to grow when others falter, she says that
her consultants are extraordinarily hard workers who can think of
business needs as well as technical solutions. "They have to know
what the client needs instead of the client telling them. We are very
very particular about the quality of the people we hire. When the
market was shrinking most of the clients retained our consultants."
Another secret: She did not take the easy money that went with Y2K
projects. Companies that staffed up for the Y2K found themselves without
work afterword. "We are always thinking long term."
— Barbara Fox
08540. Limy John, CEO. 609-919-9800; fax, 609-919-9830. Www.newagesys.com.
Six leading New Jersey women role models who have exemplified
dedication, leadership, and commitment in their communities and in
their fields of expertise are being recognized by Delaware Raritan
Girl Scout Council as Women of Distinction for 2003. The master of
ceremonies for a dinner on Thursday, March 6, at 5:30 p.m, at the
Forsgate Country Club is Judith Leblein, host of 1450 WCTC’s
"Wake Up Central Jersey." Register. Cost: $125. Call 732-821-9090.
Patricia Whitley-Williams, association professor of pediatrics
at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood
Johnson Medical School, is returning for her second year as event
Award recipients include Annette Catino, the World of Healthcare,
president and executive officer of QualCare; Christy Davis,
World Citizen, president and CEO of Davis & Partners; Karen Kominsky,
the World of Public Service, deputy commissioner of New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection; Christine Lokhammer, the World
of Corporate Leadership, wealth management regional director of PNC
Bank; Mari Pearlman, the World of Education, vice president
of Educational Testing Service; and Carol Royal, the World of
the Environment, founder of Trenton Materials Exchange.
Six women in technology in the Princeton area were honored
by the Women’s Fund of New Jersey, a federation of women’s organizations.
The gala was held at Forsgate Country Club in November. Mary Evslin,
vice president of ITXC on College Road was honored and was also the
Among the other award recipients: Lynn Alejandro, an attorney
at Morgan Lewis & Bockius at the Carnegie Center; Maxine Ballen,
president and CEO, New Jersey Technology Council; Lisa Cash,
CEO & president of Princeton Softech at University Place; Holly
M. Dansbury, vice president, finance and administration, Sensors
Unlimited, at Princeton Service Center; Jean Fowler, vice president
IT, Johnson & Johnson; Debra L. Newton, CEO & president, Newton
Gravity Shift on Route 31 in Pennington; and Catherine M. Verna,
of the law firm Buchanan Ingersoll on College Road.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.