For more than a decade, Ann Arbor SPARK has recognized fast-growing companies — known as gazelles — within Washtenaw County with FastTrack Awards. These high-growth companies are increasing revenues by at least 20% annually for three years or more.
The 2018 FastTrack Awards ceremony was held mid-June during a2Tech360, a week of tech-related events culminating with the fourth annual A2 Tech Trek. Among this year’s 16 awardees were GDI Infotech and InfoReady — and accepting awards on behalf of both companies was their joint founder and CEO Bhushan Kulkarni.
This is the first time one CEO accepted FastTrack Awards for two companies in the same year — a significant accomplishment! GDI Infotech is an information technology services and solutions company that provides workflow automation, business intelligence, and talent acquisition solutions. InfoReady, which spun out of GDI Infotech provides software products to higher education industry to scale up vital programs that support faculty, students, and alumni. This is the fifth time both GDI and InfoReady have received a FastTrack Award.
Bhushan — who describes himself as a tech guy who uses tech to solve problems — reflected on 25 years of entrepreneurship, two companies, and 10 FastTrack awards.
Early on at both companies, Bhushan identified opportunities to pivot the business in order to capture growth and revenue. As a self-proclaimed “frustrated harmonica player,” he sees a lot of similarities between the pursuit of great music and the pursuit of building successful companies. “Music, math, and engineering are correlated. If you are a musician you are constantly seeking ways to create better music. If you’re an engineer, you’re always solving problems through new and creative methodologies. I am always asking myself how I can do this better.”
This is the approach that helped Bhushan seize opportunities to build long-lasting, successful enterprises. “To achieve our growth, we focus on specific problems and ask how to improve processes. This is a rewarding approach and allows for more entrepreneurial flexibility.”
Bhushan is quick to give credit to employees at both organizations. “FastTrack is a great morale booster for staff. My team members work closely together, and everyone is always focused on ways to do more and achieve growth faster. This award really helps everyone take a step back and recognize the hard work and all that they have accomplished as a team.”