Month: May 2021

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the supply chain diversity space both nationally, regionally, and locally as well as get the latest NYNJMSDC news.

MBE Spotlight: Sameer Penakalapati, Indotronix Avani Technology Solutions

Sameer Penakalapati is a serial entrepreneur dedicated to advising and investing in technology startups, specifically in the human resources and artificial intelligence space. In the past 10 years, Penakalapati has founded and acquired over six companies, including a staffing firm, multiple SaaS platforms, and a digital marketing agency, serving thousands of customers worldwide. He is CEO of Indotronix Avani Technology Solutions where the Avani team “ builds awesome software solutions. Period.”

Since 2008, Avani has been providing IT consulting, software outsourcing, IT security and government IT solutions services. Growing their revenue base from $0 to over $20 million, the Avani team follows Penakalapati’s lead. After acquiring Indotronix in 2016, Penakalapati’s 2020 vision of $100 million was set in motion. Now with 10 global locations, more than 750+ employee and a fortune 500 customer base, he makes sure that his company and team members give back to the community. Penakalapati also takes an active approach to corporate social responsibility initiatives and philanthropic activities. Indotronix Avani supports the American Red Cross, the YMCA and other child education and youth development programs in both the United States and India.

To date, Penakalapati has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including accolades from Inc 500/5000, Rochester Top 100, Deloitte Fast 500, Forbes Best Startup Employers, USPAACC, and SIA Fastest Growing Companies.

MBE Spotlight: Hetal Parikh, Rangam Consultants

Hetal Parikh, president of Rangam Consultants Inc., fuels Rangam’s vision of “Employment for Everyone.” These words drive her to continually pave the path for boundless professional and personal achievements.

Parikh seeks to create a people-centric workplace within Rangam and in corporations worldwide. Over the past 20 years, Rangam has become a high-performing, diverse supplier of workforce solutions utilizing innovative technology and strategic delivery models. Parikh’s inventive thinking inspires everyone at Rangam and influences others to create a more collaborative workforce. She is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at work for all intersectionality.

As a talent-acquisition game-changer, Rangam developed SourceAbled™, an end-to-end solution connecting employers, job seekers who are differently abled, and support agencies. Rangam also offers SourceVets™, a career development and employment program for transitioning military service members.

“My team and I have worked together to build a culture of true empathy and inclusion,” says Parikh. “With this motto instilled within the corporation, we collaborate with our clients and industry experts to provide a better quality of life to our candidates of all abilities. That’s our mission each and every day.”

Parikh, secretary for The Council’s MBE Input Committee serves on several boards, including the WPO advisory, DA4S, Fulton Bank, and SAPC. She plays an active role as a Harvard OPM Alumni and DWEN Alumni, advocating for Women in higher education and STEAM. To learn how Parikh became a self-made innovator, read “See Her, Be Her,” published by IWEC.

MBE Spotlight: Raizada Vaid, Fantasia World

Fantasia World, established in 1998, is a manufacturer, importer, and distributor of high-quality costume jewelry including necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, pins, anklets, and sets. Affiliated with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in China and India, Fantasia world partners employ over 960 individuals. With two wholesale stores in New York City, the company provides retailers with market insight by testing styling performance at these locations. Clients include large multinational retailers such as Walmart and Zulily, among others.

Fantasia World offers clients top-quality products at globally competitive prices by leveraging its international design team and manufacturing capabilities. The design team, working directly with manufacturing facilities,   incorporates the latest industry trends and stays abreast of shifts in the fashion world. The team of skilled and expert designers adapts product lines towards the specific goals, styles, and needs of each customer’s brand. Affiliated overseas factories produce exclusively for Fantasia World clients.

One of the preferred importers and distributors of costume jewelry in the United States and other countries, Fantasia World continually improves its corporate governance model, organizational structure, operational efficiency, and revenue growth.

MBE Spotlight: Donald L. Chu: Tronex International

Tronex International was founded in 1989 in response to the urgent need for superior quality disposable protective products as the AIDS crisis burgeoned. For more than 32 years, Tronex has steadily grown through a progressive business model that merges diverse, customized product solutions with a passionate service and response culture. Its organic growth has allowed Tronex to create a unique company that embraces science and humanity, servicing major industries, including healthcare, food services, government, and retail. Its business scope began with a single latex exam glove and has grown to offer comprehensive head-to-toe personal protective equipment across 45 manufacturer partners in six countries.

Tronex has remained steadfast to its core values, including the unwavering pursuit of excellence and service to others, making the world a better place for future generations. With the disruptive and relentless COVID-19 pandemic, Tronex has proudly continued to offer a consistent supply of reliable quality products and cost containment strategies to a vast network of customer partners.

As a global brand and certified MBE through the NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council, its commitment to advancement is achieved through action, fostering equal opportunities, and encouraging diversity and inclusion throughout the entire supply chain.

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MBE Spotlight: Firoz Lalji, Zones

Firoz Lalji is chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Zones, one of the most reliable IT solutions providers in the industry. Throughout the company’s 30-year history, Lalji has provided the vision and leadership to transform Zones into a global solutions provider and award-winning business enterprise. In addition to Zones, Lalji owns the Fana Group of Companies, an investment holding company operating in the U.S. and Canada. Before his tenure at Zones, Lalji was the founder, president, and CEO of Kits Cameras, Inc., which became a 225-store chain across the U.S. and Canada. He sold Kits Cameras in 1997 and joined Zones as CEO in 1998.

Zones helps clients reduce the cost of IT procurement through:

  • Authorized availability of more than 250,000 products and solutions from 2,000 leading IT manufacturers, including IBM, Lenovo, HP, Cisco, and Microsoft
  • Broad portfolio of professional services available nationwide
  • ZonesConnect™ online procurement system that provides customized purchase management to streamline IT procurement

Zones is a proactive partner with both clients and suppliers and holds prestigious statuses including:

  • Premier Business Partner with IBM
  • Diversity Partner in HP’s Diversity Program under PartnerOne
  • Elite Business Partner with HP
  • Premier Business Partner with Lenovo
  • Microsoft Large Account Reseller (LAR)
  • Premier Partner with McAfee
  • Cisco Gold Certified Partner

Born in Uganda, Lalji obtained his Bachelor of Science in economics from the London School of Economics and attended Harvard Business School. He serves on many advisory boards, including the Board of Directors of US Bank of Washington, the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, the London School of Economics, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Lalji is also the founder and chairman of the Program for African Leadership (PFAL) Foundation,, which grants African students scholarships. Additionally, he runs the Program for African Leadership at the London School of Economics.

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