Farah Shah, general counsel for Valiant Integrated Services, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz about the company’s growth initiatives for 2022 and its methods for driving customer value and success in the highly competitive federal landscape and technology market.
In addition, Shah also discussed the core values that drive its company culture as well as the impact that CMMC and other compliance standards are having on federal contractors and the challenges of maintaining those standards during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
“Many of our missions were not delayed and were not suspended because of the pandemic. We continued to operate with excellence and provide services to our customers without pause. Our ability to quickly and effectively change our working practices and continue to support our customers again is a true testament to the entire team’s hard work here at Valiant.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight interview with Farah Shah below:
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the company’s recent growth initiatives and how you’re driving value for your customers through contract awards, acquisitions, and other aspects across the federal sector?
Farah Shah: “Valiant is a leading government services provider that empowers missions for the U.S. government and its partners by training, equipping, protecting, sustaining, and supporting those who serve.
Our growth objectives are to continue to grow the business organically and inorganically, develop and implement the leadership team’s vision, enhance processes that build employee and enterprise value, and build on Valiant’s impressive legacy.
At Valiant, we understand that growth comes from customer and employee success and can be achieved through strategic operations, experience, and dedication. Our extensive track record and expertise in global operations will enable Valiant to continue creating organizational agility and the growth mindset needed to capitalize on future opportunities in today’s changing marketplace.
Our recent wins attest to this, including a $150 million contract delivering advanced training solutions to USASOC, a $55 million DLITE II task order issued by the U.S. Army to provide language services in EUCOM and the Yukon region, a $555M IDIQ contract supporting the Army National Guard, as well as other recent wins supporting operations and maintenance in the military medical space.
Last year, we acquired Alliance Technical Services, which has enabled us to diversify and expand into our services in several markets, launch support services, hazardous materials management, and supply chain management. We’re exploring additional acquisitions as well while continuing to be laser-focused on organic growth.
As the federal marketplace continues to change, Valiant is evolving to ensure that our solutions are the best value, innovative, and providing our customers with the best service possible.”
ExecutiveBiz: What are the core values that are important to your company’s culture? How has your team developed its workflow and ability to drive success in such a competitive market?
Farah Shah: “Our core values are excellence, integrity, and innovation. We operate under the principle that excellence and innovation are aspirational, but integrity is non-negotiable.
Our commitment to leadership development is also a critical component of our success. We’re able to drive success in this very competitive market by identifying and hiring the best people and developing them to their full potential.
We also empower our people and give them the tools they need to meet our customers’ mission and deliver true value to our stakeholders. I think of our company culture as a culture of empowerment. It’s a culture of leadership. I believe that’s been a real differentiator in the market for Valiant.”
ExecutiveBiz: With CMMC and other compliance standards changing to push the best business practices for federal contractors and companies, what can you tell us about the challenges of maintaining those standards and making changes to your own policies to remain compliant?
Farah Shah: “For Valiant, NIST compliance and CMMC readiness are top priorities for us. For years now, the industry has seen this trend coming regarding compliance standards needing to change. In the last few years, the requirements have certainly accelerated.
One of the challenges for anyone in the industry is the fluid nature of how these requirements have evolved. Valiant has managed to stay on pace because of our routine monitoring for changes in compliance requirements.
That’s a cross-functional effort between our legal team, compliance team, IT team, and operational folks to understand what our customers are being asked to do in the field. None of this happens by accident, and our compliance standards result from much inside work. We also encourage all our employees to speak up and raise any concerns or draw attention to any potential compliance gaps.
I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in this area at Valiant because of the ownership and accountability that you see enterprise-wide around supporting these compliance initiatives, as well as the pride that our employees take in meeting those requirements. We’re at the forefront to ensure that Valiant is always doing business the right way.”
ExecutiveBiz: We often discuss innovation from the technical or capability side. What are some of the unique challenges you’ve seen on the business side of innovation that haven’t been addressed or discussed enough?
Farah Shah: “One of the things I’ve seen throughout my career, not necessarily at any particular company, is a hesitancy to innovate and stick your neck out before there’s a forcing function.
One of the things Valiant has done well is instilling this culture of innovation, which means not just aspiring to do something different but enabling teams to evolve and launch these innovative ideas and implement them within our business quickly and effectively.
Another point I’d make is looking at innovation in the context outside of technology. It’s been said before, but the pandemic forced everyone to take a new look at how they do business and in what format. They’re thinking about where their employees are sitting and how they collaborate.
Those workflows, processes, and practices that make up the company culture and define how you collaborate as a team and a total workforce have been moved to the forefront. For Valiant, I’m very proud of how the company reacted and adjusted our working practices to ensure that we could continue to deliver excellence to our customers.
Many of our missions were not delayed and were not suspended because of the pandemic. We continued to operate with excellence and provide services to our customers without pause. Our ability to quickly and effectively change our working practices and continue to support our customers again is a true testament to the entire team’s hard work here at Valiant.
ExecutiveBiz: An essential part of a company having strong business ethics in the federal sector is helping and giving back to the greater community. Can you speak to the various charities and work with other organizations that your company does to make a difference and how people can get involved?
Farah Shah: “Valiant operates with a large global footprint across five continents and 54 U.S. states and territories. We’ve been taking steps to expand our support of our local communities and give back. We recently sponsored a handful of scholarships for students at two high schools in Leesville, Louisiana, near the Joint Readiness Training Center program Valiant operates at Fort Polk, Louisiana. We’ve also supported disaster relief efforts and, most recently, humanitarian relief efforts in response to the war in Ukraine.
Finally, we’re in the process of establishing the Valiant Foundation, which is a private foundation that will be focused on supporting veterans and their families as well as humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
In addition to fundraising for those causes, Valiant will also sponsor community service opportunities for our employees to give back to their local communities and the communities in which we operate. We’re very excited to launch the Valiant Foundation and look forward to supporting more great causes.”