Immigrant entrepreneurs are job creators and innovators. The five nominees for The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards in the Business Growth category increased their number of full-time-equivalent employees by 40 to 388 percent over the past three years.
Avco Consulting, Worcester
Vijay Nalamada is the CEO and founder of Avco Consulting, Inc. Since 1999, Avco has been providing IT consulting and software solutions and development. The company serves Fortune 500 clients in banking, finance and insurance, life science, retail, and high-tech industries. From 2013 to 2016 he has grown employment by 40 percent to 350 full-time-equivalent employees. Nalamada and the company also co-sponsor the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) “Cricket for a Cause” tournament that raises funds for projects ranging from residential hostels for boys and girls to hospitals to vocational training centers empowering underprivileged women in India.
US Bedding Inc., Fall River
David Nguyen is a refugee from Vietnam who came to the United States at age 19 without money or knowledge of English. Working menial jobs, he managed to support his family while saving enough money to realize his dream of owning his own manufacturing business in 2002. Today, his company produces mattresses and pillows for retail sale and institutional use in a rehabilitated factory in Fall River. US Bedding Inc. is a major supplier for Costco and other national retailers and for My Pillow, Inc. for which they produce more than 4,000 pillows per day. His workforce has grown 166 percent in the last three years with a commitment to hire unemployed and under-employed workers from the lagging textile industry in the Fall River area. Nguyen is now actively planning a second facility devoted entirely to the production of institutional bedding, which will employ between one and 200 workers when fully staffed.
DPV Transportation Worldwide, East Boston
Daniel Perez is a self-funded and self-taught entrepreneur. He moved to the U.S. at age 11 and at 17 started DPV Transportation Worldwide, a luxury ground transportation services business in East Boston. Through grit and determination, even in the face of increasing competition from ride-hailing services, he has grown the company into a nearly $3-million-per-year business. His success has also meant more jobs for the local community. In the last three years alone, he has increased employment at DPV by 60 percent.
Jose de la Rosa
Guardian Healthcare, Jamaica Plain
from Dominican Republic
Jose de la Rosa came to Boston in 1989 and worked his way through school, earning a degree in finance despite knowing very little English. His wife, Zoraida de la Rosa, was a nurse who noticed a gap in services offered in home health care. To address this, De la Rosa and his wife founded Guardian Healthcare in 2008 with just three employees. In the last three years, employment has more than doubled to nearly 300 full-time-equivalent employees. The company has expanded from its original office in Jamaica Plain to additional offices in Springfield, Lawrence and Brockton and added a new division, Family Caregivers, to help family members care for young disabled individuals and the elderly at home. With more than 80,000 home visits to date, Guardian has provided much-needed linguistically- and culturally-competent care to elderly and disabled adults throughout the state of Massachusetts. De la Rosa often gets invited to speak about health concerns at community events and has been selected by the Association of Latino Professionals for America to receive its Excellence in Service to the Community Award.
Amelia’s Taqueria, Inc., Boston
Amir Shiranian’s father and grandfather were rug merchants in Iran. Naturally, when he decided to settle in Boston after attending college here, Shiranian opened a rug store. He owned and operated The Persian Gallery from 1999-2004 before he reopened as the Medallion Gallery in 2006 on Boylston Street. His early experience in the restaurant business while working his way through college and his passion for creating jobs led him to open a restaurant. He now has two locations for Amelia’s Taqueria employing 40 people and plans to open his third in Cleveland Circle in the spring. Shiranian’s restaurants are actively involved in the community, hosting eight to 10 fundraising events per month, mostly affiliated with a group or department at Northeastern University.