BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Even in Bad Economy, Women-Owned Businesses Are Thriving in New Jersey

The number of women-owned businesses is on the rise in New Jersey and growing at a faster pace than businesses owned by men, according to a report commissioned by American Express. Artech Information Systems, based in New Jersey, was named the seventh fastest growing woman-owned company in the nation. President and CEO Ranjini Poddar sat down with NJ Today’s Desiree Taylor to discuss her business, the climate in the Garden State and why women-owned companies are doing so well.

Poddar said her company has about 5,500 employees globally providing workflow solutions to Fortune 500 clients in the U.S. and abroad as well as government organizations. She said her business has been successful because it focuses on doing what’s best for its clients and has a long-term business plan.

Poddar said Artech Information Systems has been able to remain successful even in the economic downturn because of a diversified client base. “That was one of the strategies we had embarked upon about 10 years ago after the whole 2000 dot com downturn and economic downturn that followed. So at that point we had decided that we would really diversify our client base so that if there was another economic downturn, we would have more than one industry and more than one customer to rely on,” she said. “And that really has served us well over the last few years.”

While Poddar said there is a lot more work that can be done to improve the business climate in New Jersey, she has decided to keep her company in the Garden State. “There are pros and cons to being in New Jersey. The total cost of employing and running a business is definitely higher in New Jersey than in many other states,” she said. “We could move 50 miles away and have a much lower cost of employment. But offsetting that is the opportunities that are available and the employee base that is available. So within the New York metropolitan area there are a huge number of target companies — both clients as well as prospects — and there’s a huge employee population to draw upon.”

When asked why she thinks women-owned businesses are thriving, Poddar said, “I think women have gained confidence in terms of their ability to lead a business.” She also said there are organizations that help women start and grow companies as needed. Hitting a ceiling in traditional employment or wanting a company to help improve work-life balance are also reasons Poddar cited for women starting their own businesses.

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