HQ: WASHINGTON, DC
GROWTH RATE: 225%
Atlas Research is a management and
advisory services firm that improves
performance, transforms operations,
and makes a lasting difference in society. Atlas creates value for federal
government clients by helping them
solve problems and positively impact the communities in which they
work, live, and serve. The Washington, DC-based firm lands at No. 12
on the Fastest Growing Firms ranking with a 225 percent growth rate.
Consulting caught up with Mark H.
Chichester, President, and Ryung
Suh, Managing Director and CEO to
discuss the firm’s success.
Consulting: What were the main
factors that contributed to your
firm’s exceptional growth?
Chichester: The foundation was the
fielding of a more powerful organiza-
tion, which we achieved by recruiting
high-performing business developers
and seasoned consultants. Second,
we targeted and won enterprise-level
work and strategic contract vehicles
supporting major government trans-
formation and performance improve-
ment initiatives, where the missions
are more encompassing and our con-
tribution to them is magnified. Third,
we built and acquired greater breadth
and depth of technical capabilities,
which enabled us to bring sustainable
innovation and excellence to client
programs and projects. Finally, we
laid the groundwork to project new
capacity and capabilities into adja-
cent markets both within and external
to our core government client spaces.
Consulting: How is this year
shaping up for your firm?
Suh: We are on course for another
banner year. We have already met,
and anticipate that by year’s end we
will well exceed, our ambitious goals
for revenue growth as well as profitability. The growth is being driven, in
large part, by our ability to attract exceptional talent and the investments
we have made to strengthen corporate systems and infrastructure that
allow us to project our services across
core markets. All these efforts are in
service to the same purpose that all
of our employees share: doing meaningful work that radiates widely and
positively across the communities in
which we work, live, and serve.
Consulting: What is your firm’s
outlook for 2017?
Suh: We anticipate robust revenue
growth in 2017, owing to our greatly
expanded capabilities, emergent brand
reputation, and the addition of market-
moving executive talent. And as the
firm scales and financial performance
monitoring systems mature, we are
confident that profitability will be
sustained through the coming year
and into the foreseeable future.
Consulting: What would you
say are your firm’s biggest
challenges in 2017?
Chichester: The challenges of rapid growth are two-fold for us: ( 1) to
identify, recruit, and integrate the
talent that serves as the engine of
expansion in a consulting business;
and ( 2) to ensure that we are leaning
forward and investing ahead such
that our operational infrastructure
and systems scale at pace with our
growth, with an appropriate balance
between our performance and aspirations. But, as we say often, these
are good problems to have.
Consulting: What does being
named one of Consulting’s
Fastest Growing Firms mean to
your firm, your employees and
Suh: From the outset, our aspiration has been to build and run the
kind of company we would want to
work for. While we have made considerable strides in that direction,
it is gratifying to be recognized for
doing so by our industry peers. This
recognition validates the hard work
of our employees and builds valuable equity with our clients.