Video Series:

Thriving in uncertain times: Ann Ramakumaran

Every founder’s journey features some measure of adversity. To better understand how leaders manage through market challenges and respond to trends, we’re speaking with business owners guiding their companies and industries to new heights. Topics include business resiliency and scaling for growth, access to capital, financial discipline and strategic planning, talent management, and leadership.

 

This is the fourth conversation in our ongoing “Thriving in uncertain times” series, in which diverse, women, veteran and LGBTQ+ business leaders share how they’re building resilient organizations. In this discussion, Frederick Royall III, National Head of Diverse Businesses for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking, spoke with Ann Ramakumaran, founder and CEO of Ampcus, a technology and business consulting and staff augmentation firm—and JPMorgan Chase supplier—celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2024.

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Thriving in uncertain times.

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 - J.P. Morgan;
 - (and) Chase (with the Chase octagon symbol).

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Access to capital - Why financial discipline and transparency are so important.
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A man with closely cropped dark hair and brown eyes begins a virtual interview. He wears a light blue dress shirt and dark blue suit jacket.

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Frederick Royall the Third, National Head of Diverse Businesses, JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking.

Frederick Royal III:

Ann, you know from experience that big risks can lead to big rewards. However, they can also damage a company's bottom line. How do you balance the need to be nimble with the need for financial discipline amid market downturns?

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Ann, a woman with long black hair and brown eyes, replies. She is wearing a black suit, paired with gold earrings and a necklace.

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Ann Ramakumaran, Founder and CEO, Ampcus.

Ann Ramakumaran:

We're very nimble. We take a very traditional approach when it comes to our spend. In addition to being a mission- and a vision-driven company, we're also a data-driven company. And that basically helps us in making those decisions as to, should we be taking that plunge? Should we be taking that risk? Should we be investing or should we hold off? And the other thing is, Fred, we've really invested in research. Not many technology consulting and business consulting companies, as well as staff augmentation companies really invest in in-house research. We've invested in in-house research because it's very important that we know and we continue to learn some of the industry's trends, as well as where our clients are heading. We've never shied away from taking those risks because again, there are some things which you need to do in order to stay relevant and in order to stay in the market. But at the same time, we've been able to do that because of reinvestments, reinvesting back into the company. So that's how we've managed it, Fred.

Frederick Royal III:

Ann, are there any strategic planning choices you've made for Ampcus over the years that you're especially proud of? Is there anything perhaps you would do differently today?

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A photo shows Ann standing with a group of diverse business professionals at a U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce conference.

Ann Ramakumaran:

We've surrounded ourselves with people and with leaders across business units and across companies who have not just the inclusive mindset, but are very creative. They always take that innovative approach. They're very responsive and responsible, and most importantly, when they come to work, they put their head, heart, and soul to it. Having a strong leadership team that not just has the technical experience, but also investing in people that have the functional or the industry experience is something that we are very proud of. We exist to solve business problems, and that's what makes us unique. To answer to the second part of the question, Fred, we've been certified by WBENC and NMSDC only for 14 years, but we've been in business for 20 years.

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A photo shows Ann standing with her team at a formal ceremony. She smiles, holding two awards.

Ann Ramakumaran:

When I look back, wish we were certified 20 years ago. Then we would be at a different place, but never too late. I've always been a firm believer; we'll get there.

Frederick Royal III:

I have 100% confidence that you will. Financial discipline and strategic planning are crucial to long-term success. Ann, thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Side note:

Bright music plays.

Logos:
- J.P. Morgan;
 - (and) Chase (with the Chase octagon symbol).

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Legal disclosures:

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Chase, J.P. Morgan, JPMorgan, JPMorgan Chase, and Story by J.P. Morgan are marketing names for certain businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its affiliates and subsidiaries worldwide (collectively, "JPMC", "We", "Our" or "Us", as the context may require).

The material contained in this video is intended as general market commentary and does not constitute legal, tax, investment, accounting, financial, business, real estate, or any other advice, and should not be relied upon as such. The views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed in this video are those of JPMC , or other featured speakers, and may differ from those of Commercial Banking or other JPMC employees and affiliates. This video in no way constitutes an offer or commitment to provide a particular product or service. Products and services offered by JPMC and its affiliates are subject to applicable laws and regulations, as well as our service terms and policies. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas or to all customers. Credit is subject to approval. Rates and programs are subject to change; certain restrictions apply.

This content does not constitute J.P. Morgan research and should not be treated as such. Any views expressed are often based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. Any statistics referenced have been obtained from external sources deemed to be reliable, but we do not guarantee their accuracy or completeness. In no event shall JPMorgan Chase nor any of its directors, officers, employees or agents be liable for any use of, for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon, or for any inaccuracies or errors in or omissions from, the information in this video.

Copyright 2024 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Deposits held in non-U.S. branches are not FDIC insured.

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For more founder insights, check out Royall’s “Thriving” conversations with:

  • Travis Mack, a Navy veteran, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Janice Bryant Howroyd, the first Black woman to build a billion-dollar business
  • Martha de la Torre, CEO and co-founder of the largest Spanish-language classifieds service in the U.S.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visit jpmorgan.com/commercial-banking/legal-disclaimer for disclosures and disclaimers related to this content.

4 EPISODES

  • Ann Ramakumaran

    4:40

    Meet Ann Ramakumaran

    The supplier diversity advocate is celebrating 20 years of her technology and business consulting and staff augmentation firm in 2024.

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  • Ann Ramakumaran banner

    4:04

    How to stay nimble and innovate through uncertainty

    Ann Ramakumaran explains her approach to business resiliency and scaling over 20 years of growth.

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  • Ann Ramakumaran

    3:22

    One founder’s capital journey

    Ann Ramakumaran reflects on the importance of financial discipline and transparency when engaging with financial partners.

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  • Ann Ramakumaran banner

    2:54

    Founder Ann Ramakumaran talks financial discipline and strategic planning

    Managing risk and planning for the future has kept Ampcus thriving for 20 years.

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