If everything goes right for Euroclydon Industries, Tim Carmichael and Maran Vedamanikam – two of the company’s owners stricken by a fascination with flying – will have enough success and time to be thousands of feet in the air guiding jets through the clouds.
But for now the two men are guiding the Albuquerque information technology company through a growth stage that will likely double Euroclydon’s employees to 12 in a year.
“For me to take time out and go and get a pilot’s license is not at the moment as much a priority as my family is,” says Vedamanikam, a 38-year-old husband and father of two children.
“Once the business goes to a more advanced place where we make our strategic partnerships, I will have more time . . . for getting my hobbies taken care of.”
When the company began in 1999, it was just the three owners running it: Carmichael, Vedamanikam and his wife, Margrit, who comes from Switzerland and handles the accounting and finances. The men, friends since 1994, had a passion for computing.
“I always had a love for science and technology,” Vedamanikam says, and when it came to computer work, Euroclydon’s president – who wanted to join the Air Force but couldn’t because of asthma – got his start with a flight simulator game called 1941 around the same time he met Carmichael.
“The PC we had just could not handle the game I wanted to put on it,” he says. “In the process of upgrading, I started getting a lot of computer knowledge, and I just kept going from there.”
Carmichael had his own brush with electronic entertainment: In high school, he tried to create a Pac-Man video game.
“I know I had the ghosts created,” he says. “I think I was working on trying to get the ghosts to hone in on Pac-Man. I was trying to figure out the logic behind that. I can’t remember if I had the power pellets or not.”
After getting several years of experience in high-tech manufacturing and IT – in the late 1990s, Carmichael did three years with Motorola and Vedamanikam did three with Intel – the men decided the time had come to launch their own venture. They named the company after a ship-wrecking wind from a biblical story.
“Basically the wind brought about a great change,” Vedamanikam says. “We’re likening ourselves to the wind, which is Euroclydon.”
They want to bring well-designed networks, extra services, personal attention and respectful advice to their clients, all of which have been lacking in the IT world today, says Carmichael, vice president of the company.
“We have gone to clients who were so frustrated because the people who were taking care of them were very condescending,” Carmichael says.
“There are people in our industry who are very cold. . . . We’re not just there working on the computer. We’re in there talking with them (clients) about their personal lives.
“We’re building relationships and understanding who they are as people. When we come in, they know us on a first-name basis.”
Becky Raichur, vice president of AllLaw.com, a Web site serving lawyers, says Euroclydon’s team members work fast, know their field well and imbue their service with a personal touch.
“We’d have to pay four different people to do the job they do,” she says.
Euroclydon keeps her computer network humming and troubleshoots her clients’ e-mail problems. Another project includes a software program for schools that makes it easier to track students.
One for the U.S. military takes up a massive dry-erase board hanging on Euroclydon’s conference room wall. Below “Electronic Warfare” in black lie neatly drawn boxes connected by green lines. Each box contains a tall stack of words, some of them decorated with a splash of red ink. More boxes can be found on another dry-erase board in the adjoining room where a phone regularly rings.
In five years, the company might need a lot more dry-erase boards.
That’s when Euroclydon intends to be a multimillion-dollar operation getting ready for yet another expansion, Vedamanikam says.
He notes a huge market for IT services in New Mexico, and Carmichael explains that capping the company’s size won’t be happening.
“We don’t agree with a lot of the idea of limiting and stopping at a certain size,” Carmichael says.
“We’ve seen companies that do that. They get complacent because they get to a place where they want to be. Our goal is to continue to grow and diversify into other industries than IT.”
Euroclydon’s growth plan includes the completion of a business-classification application with the federal government. It will allow it to compete with large companies chasing contracts with Uncle Sam.
There’s a marketing shift, too: Instead of relying on word-of-mouth business, the company will be doing more cold calls and hitting more trade shows. It will exhibit at several, including the June 6 Technology Showcase and Business Matchmaking Event – hosted by Sandia National Laboratories and the city – at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
“I think this showcase will really get us a whole lot more work from Sandia,” Vedamanikam says. “There is a lot of work out there.”
And if the time comes when the business’ success creates more free time for its owners, you might see Carmichael working for his pilot’s license – although he prefers the metal whales with wings to Vedamanikam’s nimble fighter jets.
“I have a real fascination with extremely huge aircraft,” Carmichael says. “I would love to fly a fighter, but I would also love to see what it’s like to fly a 747 or C-5 or the new Airbus A380.”