In 1994, Perry Mehta started a part-time business to develop technology curriculums for schools in India.
Eighteen years later, FutureNet Group is a construction, information technology and environmental consulting firm and defense contractor with annual revenues of $33 million.
Its projects include everything from environmental engineering at the Book-Cadillac Hotel to renovations and road-building at military bases, from Great Lakes sediment-testing for the Army Corps of Engineers to developing a way for Detroit inspectors to get their assignments and file paperwork wirelessly.
On Wednesday, the Detroit-based company won a nearly $3-million Army Corps of Engineers contract for erosion protection work on the Gavins Point Dam in Nebraska and South Dakota.
To Mehta, an engineer who decided in 2003 to devote all of his time to FutureNet Group, all aspects of the firm blend nicely together.
“Any construction projects we do, we apply the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and mobile technology,” the company president and CEO said, adding, “Environmental and construction always goes hand in hand.”
FutureNet Group, which has done work at Ft. Hood in Texas and the Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, is expanding its construction arm with its July 26 purchase of Smith & Wesson Security Solutions, which builds safety features for secure sites.
Mehta, who’s lived in metro Detroit for 24 years, is rooting for the city.
“It is a big, small city. It has everything that a big city has, but it is small enough to move from one corner to another corner,” he said. “I’m a Detroiter, a true believer in Detroit. I have opportunities (throughout) the world, particularly in this country, for sure. I chose to keep my home and business in Detroit. It’s my passion to help Detroit. As an international, industrial city, Detroit has all the potential to grow not only as an automotive city.”
FutureNet, which has six offices across the country, employs 200 people.
Charles Dodd, deputy director of Detroit’s Information Technology Services Department, praised how FutureNet Group helped make the city’s Building, Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department more efficient.
“They developed a mobile application for … city inspectors to perform their duties remotely,” he said. “Their performance was exceptional. They’re very flexible and knowledgeable in their areas of expertise and they do follow a pretty tight budget.”