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Rochester Top 100: New markets and services drive firm's growth

Rochester Business Journal
February 28, 2014

Expanding geographically and increasing its service offerings have helped Ravi Engineering & Land Surveying P.C. grow over the past few years, its leader said.

“The outlook for the company is good,” President Nagappa Ravindra said.

The Rochester-based firm, which has two locations in the city, recently has added offices in Albany, Binghamton and Allentown, Pa. Its other offices are in Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

The additional offices help the firm gain more work in different areas, Ravindra said.

“There is only so much work in this area,” he said.

Ravindra, a structural engineer, started the business in 1995.

The firm provides structural, transportation, environmental and geotechnical engineering services, as well as construction inspection and land surveying. It has done projects that are educational, medical, residential, religious, retail, commercial, institutional, municipal, infrastructure, aviation and transportation.

The company has prospered with work on public-sector clients such as the state Department of Transportation, the Thruway Authority and the State University Construction Fund, as well as municipalities and school districts in the Rochester region.

“We expect to continue working for these clients while also pursuing opportunities in the private sector,” Ravindra said.

Ravi Engineering & Land Surveying has been working with Monroe County since the late 1990s.

Terrence Rice, director of the county Department of Transportation, said the company always has been thorough, timely and accurate in providing engineering consulting services. Over the years, the county has increased the types of work it seeks from Ravi Engineering, and Rice is pleased with the customer service.

“As a structural engineer himself, I know that when his firm is doing a bridge or culvert project for us, that Ravi personally does some quality assurance/quality control on the project, which is a good touch,” Rice said.

Ravi Engineering & Land Surveying also has expanded its service offerings over the past few years. It now does phase one and phase two environmental site assessments and works with contractors on construction stake-out surveys.

“These services complement our core services” and will be growth areas, Ravindra said.

For 2014, he expects roughly the same amount of work as last year.

Sales were flat in 2013 but were up some 45 percent in 2012. In 2011, sales were up 17 percent; in 2010, revenues increased 23 percent from 2009.

Employment should remain relatively steady as well—although Ravindra is constantly looking for professionals such as engineers, surveyors and technicians in areas of environmental engineering, structural engineering, land surveying and construction inspection. Finding qualified personnel is a challenge for the company and the industry.

The company had some 80 workers in 2013 and 2012, up from 70 in 2011 and 60 in 2010.

The biggest challenge ahead for the industry is tight government funding for infrastructure projects, Ravindra said.

The firm also is familiarizing itself with relatively new delivery methods created by state legislation in 2011 that focused on the design-build concept for infrastructure projects, which involves engineers working closely with contractors.

Ravindra said his firm has done a few projects with those partnerships, including the Kendrick Road reconstruction near the University of Rochester.

Ravindra testified before Congress last April during a hearing titled “Help Wanted: The Small Business STEM Workforce Shortage and Immigration Reform.” The purpose of the hearing was to learn how a shortage of science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills in the workforce is affecting the current and future economic health and viability of small businesses.

In the future, the company may add more offices, possibly in Massachusetts and Florida, but the focus now is on increasing work in the existing locations, Ravindra said.

“Growth is slow in this industry,” he said. “It takes a couple of years before things start to happen.”

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. This year’s Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 5. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.


Ravi Engineering & Land Surveying P.C

Provides structural and environmental engineering, surveying, inspection and transportation and bridge design.
Founded: 1995
Top executive: Nagappa Ravindra, president
2013 ranking: 33
Employees: 80 (full time)
Location: Rochester
Website: www.ravieng.com

2/28/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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