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TASC Outsourcing: One of Dubai’s modern-day success stories
Ambitious to succeed in his own right, after a graduating with a degree in engineering from India’s Manipal Institute of Technology, and a subsequent MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship from Boston University, he spent just over two years as business development manager with Digital Equipment Corporation (bought by Intel) before branching out on his own with his first venture.
He formed IT firm Ad Astrum Technologies in 1999, with support from his father, and set up offices in New York and Bangalore. He also established, at that time, some of the first Subway restaurants in Dubai.
The attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001, however, saw him lose clients and Ad Astrum Technologies was wound down.
Shahdadpuri returned to Dubai to work with his father in the Nikai Group until late 2007, when he decided to use his knowledge of the IT industry to start an outsourcing recruitment firm.
“I had to pay my bills and all I knew at that time was the software outsourcing business, and part of that is leasing software engineers, and you have to recruit them and lease them. That’s all I knew. I thought to myself — what do I know, and how can I scale it up?” he explains.
The lack of knowledge about the industry, he says, has been his strength.
While the first clients for TASC (Talent Asset Software & Consulting) Outsourcing were fairly significant, initial growth was affected yet again, by forces outside Shahdadpuri’s control.
“My first client was Emirates Airline. They let me through because I was an IT software company, although a very tiny one, in Dubai. We [also] won an order with ADNOC, beating some big companies for a small order.
“Emirates started with one or two IT engineers. When I started TASC, I think I was running about ten engineers there,” he says.
The initial capital he started with paid the wages of the workers, while making a small profit. The big break came in 2009, in the height of the recession, when he won a big contract to supply 300 people.
Having worked its way through the global financial recession, the company came out the other side with a business that saw TASC grow to 3,000 employees, all outsourced in companies around the UAE, and ranging in payscale from $1,000 (ex-bonus) to $30,000 per month.
Shahdadpuri explains the business model with two recent examples — a client who needs 15 project managers on a $19,000 per month salary and another client who needs 200 engineers to build towers in a timeframe of four weeks.