Abhai Johri, was interviewed by CEOCFO Magazine – published September 16, 2019
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
CEOCFO: Mr. Johri, what is the focus at Integral Consulting Services today?
Mr. Johri: Our primary focus is to provide custom solutions and services, primarily to federal clients. In terms of our core competencies, we focus on multimodal biometric solutions, intelligence analysis, cybersecurity, IT service management, and application development. We call these our five pillars.
CEOCFO: To get a feel for how you are interacting on the various projects, would you walk us through a couple of engagements?
Mr. Johri: I can give you some examples of our projects. We utilize biometrics and intelligence analysis techniques to look for the bad guys by searching various databases and social media data globally. We have some very successful stories where we have identified individuals who were involved in terrorist attacks or some unlawful activities within the US or around the world. Our analysis helped in finding these individuals or the network of people who are performing these activities or have an intention to do that in the future. We have helped identify such individuals and activities, in many cases, before a disaster could take place.
We have grown our competencies from developing biometric solutions to enhancing biometric algorithms through research and development; applying these solutions for performing all source intelligence analysis and identity intelligence and further enhancing it to integrate it with social media platforms and visual analytics to identify trends and patterns for suspicious activities and individuals.
CEOCFO: You also provide app development, IT management, service management and support services. Would you tell us about those and some of the other services you provide and where they fit in the overall picture?
Mr. Johri: We are primarily an IT company, so we build solutions using custom application development and managing the IT side including cybersecurity. In terms of application development, for example, we have developed an application for the TSA and DHS, which is running in their Watch Desk. Agents can report any suspicious activities around the world through this application. This application then analyzes all suspicious activities around the world and tries to find out what is going on through analysis and provide some actionable intelligence that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies can use to diffuse any disaster. Most of our applications are related to law enforcement and the intelligence side.
CEOCFO: What do you understand, on a very basic level, about security that less knowledgeable people do not grasp?
Mr. Johri: People do not understand there are various types of securities which, if not taken care of, can hurt them in different ways. This includes physical security, information security, cybersecurity, and data security related to PII (Personal Identity Information) as well as other sensitive data. We focus on selected areas of defensive cyber to protect clients’ IT infrastructure from external penetration and attacks and also develop solutions for securing sensitive data.
CEOCFO: How do you decide what contracts you would like to bid on at a particular agency? Are there particular types of engagements you prefer?
Mr. Johri: We are very focused in terms of our competencies. We want to makes sure we pursue contracts where we have the experience and competencies to meet or exceed all the performance objectives for our clients. Based on our focus on security, intelligence and law enforcement areas, we mostly focus on defense, intelligence community, homeland security, State department and Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). We utilize our competencies in multimodal biometric technologies, intelligence analysis, cybersecurity, IT Service Management, and DevOps to develop solutions and provide services to support our clients’ missions.
CEOCFO: What is your take on the state of security today? Is it getting better? Is it getting harder?
Mr. Johri: It is an open-ended road, an area that is always evolving. The good news is that there is lots of awareness among government and commercial sides as well as among individuals based on so many breeches and events in the news that is helping to develop and implement counter measures. However, as fast as we implement solutions to protect, new threats are developed, so we need to continually monitor and evolve our solutions to minimize such hacking attacks, keep everyone safe, and protect our information and intellectual properties.
“We have built a company that has established its brand, that is here to last, that delivers quality, and that has the reputation for high performance. We have a tag line “exceeding expectations …” and we are very serious about preserving this value.”- Abhai Johri
CEOCFO: What has changed as Integral Consulting has grown and evolved as a company? What have you learned over time?
Mr. Johri: We are on fast track and have been growing year over year. However, for us, it’s not just about winning opportunities, our focus is on performance and delivery, in order to keep our clients successful sustain and our growth. We have built a company that has established its brand, that is here to last, that delivers quality, and that has the reputation for high performance. We have a tag line “exceeding expectations …” and we are very serious about preserving this value. We have trained our team to be passionate about exceeding expectations not just for our clients, but also in everything that we do.
We are very proactive and strategic in our future planning to make sure we maintain constant growth, take care of our employees and serve our customers well. We want to be unique and creative in our solutions in order to significantly differentiate us from our competition.
CEOCFO: Do you find it different dealing with the government, with different administrations or is the area you are in fairly stable as there is a continual need for security?
Mr. Johri: Our focus areas and competencies in intelligence, security and law enforcement are so unique and balanced that we are not much affected by the change of administration or government priorities as these areas are core for protecting our homeland and bringing peace to the world. We also diversify our business across various types of agencies and competency areas and continue to keep up with the changes in technologies, market requirements and world events to ensure that we can continue to serve well and maintain our growth.
CEOCFO: What do you look for in your people? Are you finding, like so many, difficulty in hiring?
Mr. Johri: Yes, especially with such low unemployment, it is always a challenge to find well-qualified workforce. However, we have invested a lot on our recruiting efforts, building up a comprehensive qualified candidates database and establishing a dedicated recruiting department. In addition, we have built outstanding retention strategies to maintain our current staff by maximizing their compensation, providing comprehensive benefits, rewarding individuals and teams for their performances, distributing bonuses, providing training opportunities, and creating a path for their professional growth. This not only helps us maintain very high retention, but also attract candidates for our new projects.
CEOCFO: Looking ahead for the next year. What is the strategy for Integral Consulting?
Mr. Johri: This year, we graduated from a small business to a large business. Moving to a new area of competitive landscape is surely challenging. However, we have planned ahead to make sure we can continue our growth in this new environment and can smoothly transition. We have sought out some really good small business multi-year large government contract vehicles, where we can continue to pursue small business opportunities in the next 3-5 years. We have also established our name in our core competency areas to compete with big industry names in full and open competitions. We have already won a large full and open contract to prove that our strategy is working well and will continue to move us forward. As part of our growth strategy, we have also established several mentor-protégé joint ventures with certified small businesses to help other competent small companies to grow under our mentorship with an added benefit of leveraging our partnership to continue to seek small business opportunities in the areas we focus on. We are very confident in our capabilities, differentiators, leadership team, and our team’s competencies, passion and commitment to continue to succeed in the marketplace.