TZL 1360 (web)


MA: The good news is that from a workload standpoint and from revenue projections, we can actually see out to mid- year 2021. With regards to cashflow, we look at our accounts receivable daily, but with a cashflow analysis we can see out to nine months. “I walk the walk and work as a change agent. I believe my role is not only to administer the entire firm and to set us up for success, but it’s my job to lead by example.” TZL: What role does your family play in your career? Are work and family separate, or is there overlap? MA: My parents have played a big role in my career. I grew up in the business and have worked with them for about 28 years. Even though they are retired, they still play a role and come into the office to work. I learned how to work hard for them and how to be genuine and sincere in our work. TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? MA: I walk the walk and work as a change agent. I believe my role is not only to administer the entire firm and to set us up for success, but it’s my job to lead by example. TZL: What, if anything, are you doing to protect your firm from a potential economic slowdown in the future? MA: We have set up our firm and diversified ourselves into five lines of business: Planning and design, program and construction management, facilities management, information technology, and asset management. This allows us to not only deliver a wide range of services to clients, but provides us with different sources of income to take us through any turbulent times to come. TZL: The firm was founded in 1986. What’s been the most challenging evolution to take place at Arora? How did you meet it? MA: My father, Manohar (Mike) Arora founded the company shortly after immigrating to the United States. His first office was in our family’s basement with my mother, Adarsh, who handled the accounting and human resources.

Originally, Arora only provided electrical engineering services, however additional services were added quickly as they grew. Those services included: mechanical, plumbing, fire alarm and suppression and security/special systems engineering. The most challenging evolution, we’ve encountered was migrating from a family firm to a corporation of about 230+ employees. While we are still a wholly- owned firm, it has been a challenge to make sure that our growing number of employees fully understand our culture, core values, and business philosophies. As a team, we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the communication of these aspects through the use of DISC assessments and properly recruiting and managing the firm. We believe it’s very important that everyone has the same understanding and focus on our brand, why we do what we do, and making sure that that message is consistent. TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers? MA: To ensure the success of our leadership staff, our managers meet quarterly to assess financial impacts, employee engagement, and the breadth of production across all our offices. Also, we have established a Leadership and Talent Development group that focuses on the growth of communication across our firm, making use of DISC assessments and communication exercises that help us work more efficiently within our teams and across teams. “We are proud of that fact and we consistently look for ways to improve and create diversity across the firm. Externally, as a diverse business, we work with multiple equal opportunity agencies to promote diverse primes in the marketplace.” TZL: How often do you valuate your firm and what key metrics do you use in the process? Do you valuate using in-house staff or is it outsourced? MA: We valuate our firm annually and the key metrics we employ are looking at EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), applying See LEADING BY EXAMPLE, page 8

HEADQUARTERS: Chadds Ford, PA NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 230+ YEAR FOUNDED: 1986 NUMBER OF OFFICE LOCATIONS: ❚ ❚ Chadds Ford, PA ❚ ❚ Atlanta, GA ❚ ❚ Baltimore, MD ❚ ❚ Boston, MA ❚ ❚ Charlotte, NC ❚ ❚ Chicago, IL ❚ ❚ Irving, TX

❚ ❚ Plantation, FL ❚ ❚ Cerritos, CA ❚ ❚ Nashville, TN ❚ ❚ New York, NY ❚ ❚ Philadelphia, PA ❚ ❚ San Jose, CA ❚ ❚ Philadelphia, PA ❚ ❚ St. Petersburg, FL MARKET SECTORS: ❚ ❚ Aviation ❚ ❚ Transportation ❚ ❚ Education

❚ ❚ Government ❚ ❚ Commercial ❚ ❚ Services:

❚ ❚ Initial planning and design ❚ ❚ Program and construction management ❚ ❚ Facilities management ❚ ❚ Geospatial technology (data solutions, organizational solutions, system solutions, research and studies) TAGLINE: Rethinking Infrastructure®

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EMBER 21, 2020, ISSUE 1360

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