Reena Gupta, CEO of Nashville, Tennessee-based IT services company Avankia, is the ultimate insider when it comes to outsourcing. As a 33-year-old Indian-born entrepreneur who has been in the U.S. for eight years, Gupta has a breadth of cross-cultural knowledge that gives her credibility to clients interested in making the overseas leap.
The challenge she faces, however, is not unlike the one other companies looking for talented programmers in her native country face: retention. Big-name outfits like Microsoft lure the best and brightest, requiring Gupta to boost incentives, training and assurances--not easy when operating half-way around the globe. Her strategy? Empowerment. "We've been successful in keeping people because they see a career path," says Gupta. "A developer with us is going to get better all-around. [So] they tend to stay and work very well." Her 25-person company had revenue of more than $2.5 million in 2006.