CEO Nirav Pandya heads Orlando-based Orion Technologies, a tech firm which specializes in the design of both single board computers (SBC) as well as full embedded systems. The company’s technology is used in a variety of military, industrial, and commercial applications. Nirav’s path to his current leadership role is a rich and complex road to success.
Nirav’s original goal was to become a doctor, however, after earning a BS in chemistry in his native Pennsylvania, he realized medicine wasn’t his true calling. He decided the change in career path called for a change in scenery, and moved to FL to attend University of Central Florida pursuing a degree in computer engineering.
While attending UCF, Nirav began working as an intern with Digital Infrared Imaging, a local manufacturer of thermal cameras for military applications. After graduating from UCF, Nirav stayed on and became a design engineer. Shortly afterwards, the young engineer saw an opportunity to close a lucrative contract with the US Navy for a new product. Feeling he lacked the authority to act for the company in that capacity, Nirav brought in Seth Ellis, one of the companies more experienced investors. The group was awarded the contract and the win helped create momentum that would propel the company to success. Nirav served roles as Vice President of Sales and later Chief Operating Officer before being appointed CEO in 2006. Under his leadership, the business grew from $6,700,000 to $18,000,000 in just three years.
Eventually, the company was sold and later went public, a move Nirav regrets to this day. The narrowed focus on quarterly profits caused the company to sacrifice its emphasis on long-term growth and stability. This environment wasn’t a good fit for Nirav’s entrepreneurial spirit and in 2010 he decided to accept a new challenge and joined Orion Technologies.
At the time, Orion was a small business with 5 employees and a few local customers. Nirav reached out once again to Seth Ellis and assembled a team of investors to acquire Orion. In August of 2012, Orion’s Board of Directors named Nirav the CEO. Nirav immediately brought in several of his former managing partners from Digital Infrared and began focusing on expanding the customer base and adding breadth to the product line. Since then, Orion has doubled its revenue year over year and grown to over 20 employees. Orion was named one of Florida’s Companies to Watch in 2015 and will be moving to a 15,000 square-foot facility in the Central Florida Research Park in March.
According to Nirav, this is just the beginning of growth for Orion. “I think we can be over $50 million in four years.” Given his experience and record for successfully growing businesses, Nirav may be correct.