INDUS buys fellow 8(a), doubles size

In a move to expand its base of federal customers, information technology and systems integrator INDUS Corp. has acquired the federal division of Vigyan Inc., an 8(a) specializing in aerospace engineering, for an undisclosed sum.

With the purchase, announced last week, INDUS, a Vienna, Va.-based 8(a) firm specializing in geographic information systems, picks up four key Environmental Protection Agency contracts and nearly doubles its workforce to 62 employees.

"This brings us to a point where we have critical mass and a solid management team," INDUS president Shiv Krishnan said. "This gives us the credibility and size to grow in the federal marketplace."

INDUS is intimately familiar with the federal division of Hampton, Va.-based Vigyan. Krishnan started the division in 1987 before leaving to form INDUS.

Since starting operations in 1993, INDUS has landed two contracts with the Justice Department: a three-year, nearly $2 million GIS contract for the Criminal Division and a five-year, $15 million GIS project for the Civil Rights Division.

INDUS also has GIS contracts with corporations as well as a contract with the Treasury Department.

Move to MOSES

The most significant new contract in the Vigyan acquisition will make INDUS a subcontractor offering GIS technology to Science Applications International Corp. on the Mission-Oriented Systems Engineering Support contract. MOSES is the primary vehicle that the EPA's Information Resources Management Office uses to upgrade systems.

Other contracts include two with the EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, including one that offers technical assessments in regulating industries under the Clean Air Act.

Another contract provides GIS and software development capabilities to the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics to encourage industries to cut the production of toxics.

Krishnan said he believes the federal GIS market will explode in the next several years, with the bulk of GIS contracts coming from DOJ's law enforcement agencies, such as FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

"These agencies all will have a need for GIS because they are dealing with an enormous amount of data that, when geographically focused, helps them to know where to focus their energies," Krishnan said.

Resource management agencies, such as the Interior Department, also will have increasing needs for GIS products, as will the EPA, he added. The Defense Department and its increasing use of Global Positioning System technology also will present opportunities.

INDUS also plans to target foreign governments and corporations.

The company already has completed Internet telecommunications projects for China, Vietnam, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

But company officials have chosen to avoid the state and local government market because they have determined that the marketplace is too widespread, requiring too much capital to market effectively.

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