Having a great mentor and networking are critical to business success. Just ask Al Limaye.
President of Logistic Solutions Inc., Limaye is a shining star in supplier diversity. Based in Piscataway, N.J., Logistic Solutions is a software integration company. It has been certified for nine years with the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council and with the local chambers of commerce in New York and New Jersey. The company has three lines of business: software integration, implementation services and IT staff supplementation. In the software integration area, Limaye’s company is one of only 15 global partners for Microsoft Surface technology and is also a Microsoft Gold Partner. Only companies meeting the highest standards for certification and sales requirements receive this top distinction from Microsoft. Limaye’s list of clients reads like a who’s who in corporate America — Accenture, Dell, SAP, SAS, Ernst & Young, AT&T, Comcast and IBM.
Limaye started Logistic Solutions Inc. in 1990, after getting his master’s degree in computer science and working as a software consultant for General Electric and also for AT&T Bell Laboratories. Twenty-four years later, his technology company is now international with 500 employees in the United States and 200 in India.
Growing up, Limaye said he was able to learn from his father, also an entrepreneur and small business owner. Although he knew right away that his father’s business in pharmaceutical manufacturing wasn’t for him, his advice was invaluable. “He taught me to work hard, have a passion and be dedicated,” Limaye said, adding that one needs to be patient but persistent, have bigger aspirations, understand key strengths and differentiate oneself from others to be successful.
The road to business success took time and did not happen overnight. Mentoring, networking and supplier diversity were key. Limaye credits and thanks his longtime mentor, Microsoft’s Fernando Hernandez, director of supplier diversity, global procurement group, who he has known for more than 15 years. “Fernando helps position me within Microsoft and outside of Microsoft,” Limaye said. “One of our software products was ultimately purchased by Microsoft. You can’t get better than that.”
And, the feeling is mutual. Hernandez said he first met Limaye when Hernandez worked in supplier diversity at AT&T. “Back then, Al was just a small company, but he was very savvy and willing to take direction and listen. He was especially good at embracing NSMDC and what it has to offer,” he said. According to Hernandez, it took time, but Limaye kept at it, and the company flourished and grew. Logistic Solutions was successful in getting business from AT&T and others. When Hernandez left AT&T and moved to Microsoft, it was a normal extension for their rapport to continue. “Al is very successful at putting relationships in place,” Hernandez said. “This [quality] is what differentiates his business. That [dedication] is what it takes to scale and grow.”
Clearly, Limaye stands out through his networking prowess. He is out of the office about 40 to 50 percent of the time meeting with clients. In addition, he attends national and regional supplier diversity events and other client-centric conferences several times a year. “Networking is crucial,” he said. “You have to have a quality price and a good product. But, ultimately, people do business with who they know and trust. They need to see you and know you.”
Being MWBE-certified has clearly benefited Logistic Solutions Inc. “It has helped our credibility and also helped us connect to new organizations, enter into new partnerships, share information and understand others’ viewpoints, thereby expanding the knowledge base and allowing us to see things from a broader perspective,” Limaye said.
BY GENNY HOM-FRANZEN