Five Qs: Pradip Sengupta on the Opportunities in Health Care IT Consulting

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Over the last five years, IPS Technology Services has grown from a $45,000, one-employee business into a company that brings in nearly $2 million in annual revenue. Pradip Sengupta, founder of the Troy-based firm, which provides a diverse range of IT and staffing services, spoke with DBusiness Daily News about his “20/20” vision and the opportunities he sees ahead with health care.

1. DDN: What is the driving force behind your company’s growth?

PS: In 2009, I didn’t want to run a company that was going to be just a small $120,000 (business). I didn’t want to be bound by that, so I set up what I call a 20/20 vision, which basically means I want to be a $20-million company by 2020. I truly believe it’s entirely possible by organic growth. We’re delivering quality services, and we’re listening to the customer. (It’s important) to be responsive and competitive in terms of cost.

2. DDN: Where do you see the most opportunity?

PS: IT is used very effectively in all industries, with the exception of health care. But health care is in the very early stages (of IT implementation), and that’s where there will be tremendous growth. I don’t think we have been able to leverage the growth in that industry because there’s so much going on. In health care, nothing used to be saved in the electronic format. So that is being addressed, and people in the doctors’ offices and hospitals have been transferring data from paper to electronic formats. It’s being done as we speak. But there are several challenges with that — one is integration. (For example), how do we connect a patient’s records from a hospital with another specialist or their primary care physician?

3. DDN: How might patients benefit from these integrated records?

PS: There’s a tremendous amount of information in health care, and we haven’t really utilized the data because the data wasn’t (available). But now, there’s a huge growth field, which is business intelligence or data mining. We’re (asking), “How do we mine data to correlate a disease or a bunch of diseases or symptoms or genetics? What is this person going to face at a certain age, and what can we do to make this person proactively healthy, so that he or she is not showing up in the emergency room?”

4. DDN: What changes have you seen in your industry?

PS: Those golden days where employers would have training programs are gone. It used to be so nice. I grew up professionally in the mid-’80s. My employer had a great training program. They don’t do that anymore.

5. DDN: What advice do you have for other employers looking to find IT talent?

PS: Be a little more tolerant. Don’t write the job description in such a way that it has a very unique combination of (qualifications) that makes it hard to find people. For example, it’s rare (to find) a super-duper Java programmer with mainframe skills. Perhaps employers can be a little more flexible, and interview a few more candidates that (don’t fit the description 100 percent). I think they’ll be able to find a lot of potential employees who could be outstanding employees with a little bit of nurturing. 

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