Click here for Part 1, Part 2 Providing technology, application, security, and certification for business, government, and defense clients Nosherwan Raja is the CEO of TASC Management. Based in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, TASC Management provides information technology training and services to private and government clients in industries such as defense, security, business management, and healthcare. The company boasts credentials as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, IBM Business Partner, Cisco Solutions Provider, and more. In 2009, TASC won a CIO 100 Award for its work on the Internal Revenue Service’s Video Relay Service Project. Nosherwan Raja spoke with citybizlist founder Edwin Warfield for this interview. EDWIN WARFIELD: Could you talk about your experience with GE’s management program? How did it influence how you run the company today? NOSHERWAN RAJA: Obviously, it’s GE’s information management leadership program, and GE’s known for their management. In the very initial stages, many times the question is asked, you know, “why I haven’t done my MBA?” Well, I was part of GE, so the two years that I spent there were more than enough to give me a background and a foundation to build ourselves. The program is built to help you understand the customer’s problems, to look at the bigger picture in an analytical fashion, and provide a solution which is innovative and at the same time meeting the customer’s requirement. So, I think that was the very foundation that I achieved being part of that program: to look at the problems where they should be, and especially the Six Sigma and then the quality initiative that was taken as part of GE’s bigger management picture—that gives us a “define, measure, analyze, improve, control” kind of a model to define the problem, measure it, analyze the solutions, and either improve them or build the new solutions. I think that has helped us to build the company that what’s it is, in a much more diversified portfolio, would take everything in its own individual capacity. It doesn’t matter if it’s a training project, it’s an information security project, or it’s a physical security surveillance project—or any solution that either a government requires or a commercial agency requires—the basic foundation is the same: define the problem, measure it, analyze, improve, and control. So, I think that is still stuck as a basic, core foundation of the management—to see things in those capacities, to see problems, and to build either the solutions or services utilizing that and more focusing on the customer needs and requirements, and being flexible and innovative in providing solutions and services. What’s your background as an entrepreneur? My personal background on how it helped me grow in where I am now is a combination. I am originally from Pakistan. The initiative, or at that time, was to learn and then be in the information technology arena. At the age of 19, I came to the U.S., lived pretty much everywhere, went to school in Alabama, went to school in Georgia, went to school in Arizona, finally graduating from University of Arizona. But, even in the U.S., I tend to like to move around. I wanted to experience different parts of the world. I’ve lived in the South; I’ve lived in California, in the West; I’ve lived in the Northeast—New York. So, all these things have helped me to not only learn different aspects of the US life, but at that same time learn and grow from different parts of the world. Similarly, being part of GE, we were never at one location or one project. Every six months, part of the information leadership program required you to do multiple different projects, and I think that feeds to what I drive on to build something, to look into something, achieve it, complete it, finish it, and move on taking the next challenges and building anything different. The journey started at the age of 19, probably, looking for the best schools, looking for the best opportunity, to going into working—prior to GE—Priceline.com, and Walker Digital, to GE, to then doing a consulting work for AOL and Fannie and then moving on to doing an international assignment for Zain Telecom, and all that. I think that built up or fed my innovative desire to keep doing, finishing the work, and moving on to the next challenge.
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