By Dolly Oberoi
Founder and CEO, C2 Technologies, Inc.
This week, OPM and GSA kicked off the new GSA HCaTS contract, sunsetting OPM/TMA after 30 years – the gold standard in contracting. TMA was best known for speed to mission, superior customer service, and flexibility.
It’s bittersweet for me, as I started my career as an entry-level professional in Washington, DC by working with OPM/TMA vendors. The TMA contract was the most coveted, as the entire Federal government could access best-in-industry vendors for Training and Human Capital solutions.
TMA was not just another contract vehicle; it was a community of professionals in which the TMA staff, clients, and vendors were true partners. There was mutual trust, respect, and unwavering support from TMA staff for the clients and contractors. We were never treated as Beltway Bandits or mere vendors – we were Family. We shared a common goal of helping our clients meet their mission requirements.
For me, this is personal. Twenty years ago, I delivered not only the Best and Final OPM proposal on the way to the hospital, but also, an hour later, my daughter. It felt as if I had given birth to two babies at the same time!
So started the most exciting journey for an emerging business. Each time an invitation for an oral Task Order competition (affectionately known as “Bakeoffs”) hit my computer, I would go into a tizzy of excitement. I grew up as a debater and extemporaneous speaker, so the oral presentations called out to me. My heart pounded and my brain worked overtime thinking of win strategies: how to beat the Fortune 500 companies, whom to partner with, and how to close the deal.
It was the story of David and Goliath. My business partner and husband Curtis and I were undaunted by the large firms and we bravely competed against IBM, ICF, Booz, and others. We used every strategy in our tool chest to beat them. I must admit it was agonizing to wait with bated breath, hoping for a win. And boy! did we win – not only that, we won Big! There were times when we beat the same large business three times in one day. All the hard work and excitement started paying off: ae won more than 10 new projects within the first four months, and the company was launched.
Our OPM partners cheered us on as the company started growing, and they supported us every step of the way. We all worked together to develop the best solutions – and when things did not go so well, we sat down and discussed them.
While it’s sad to say good-bye to TMA, I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the most amazing people at OPM, who believed in us and trusted us, as we grew from two people to a company now over 400 strong.
With change come new possibilities, and so we are excited to move forward with GSA HCaTs, a government-wide contract for Training and Human Capital solutions. Check it out. www.c2ti.com