Amyn Rajan is the CEO of Simba Technologies, a software company that was once a subsidiary of Orbital Technologies. They became separate companies in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when Orbital's service-oriented business of outsourcing software development was hit hard.
"Where are [companies] going to cut? They're going to cut their outsource contracts," Rajan said.
The dearth of business resulted in 10 employees being laid off. But then Rajan and his colleagues realized there might be more opportunity in expanding Simba, which builds a database connectivity product.
"We were doing services, we were building software for other companies, and what we realized is that we had such a strong team – why not build our own software?"
It was a huge shift for the company, which had been much more focused on the service side before the financial crisis. The decision to expand the product side of the business halted the layoffs at 10, when it could have been much more drastic.
"The alternative would have been to chop the company by more than half," Rajan said. "Instead of laying off 10 people, we would have laid off 25 to 30 people."
Simba is now the larger of the two companies, with 75 employees, and boasts big-name clients like Microsoft, Google and SAP. Orbital now has 25 staff. Rajan believes that hanging onto Simba and Orbital's highly skilled staff was the right choice.
"The decisions we made then, and betting on our people, betting that our people knew how to build this stuff, has paid off in spades."