And three friends — Alex Castro, Chuck Czajkowski and Hung Lee – also founded M Corp in an East Sacramento garage in 2004.
Much has changed since those early days, but the core of the company remains the same a decade later.
“We behaved more like a consulting company than a contracting company” when M Corp started, Alex says during a late-afternoon break at the firm’s headquarters on the K Street mall in downtown Sacramento. “When we started implementing the model, we focused on the team.”
“I became an entrepreneur to inspire other ideas,” says Alex, recently named CEO of M Corp.
Rather than building a contracting company filled with short-term contractors, M Corp focused on finding consultants and employees who could remain with the firm and move to other projects. The business model attracted the best candidates who provide experience, hard-to-find skills and knowledge for state government contracts.
“We wanted to retain the intelligence, the experience and continue to develop that culture,” Alex says. “When we started to implement that model … we started to enjoy some success.”
But the fast-growing firm truly hit its stride in 2009 and 2010.
“We started to truly understand who we are,” Alex says. “We began to focus completely on the delivery process.”
The company has completed several high-profile projects for the state, including for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Employment Development Department and Department of Health Care Services during the past few years.
Completing those projects, on budget and on time, has made midsize M Corp a well-known firm with the State of California — and nationwide.
M Corp has been listed as among the nation’s fastest-growing privately owned firms by Inc. magazine.
Now, the company is expanding to new industries and markets, and embracing a more entrepreneurial approach.
The company founders will continue to play a critical role in future development and make sure M Corp remains true to its roots.
“We are really fostering an entrepreneurial core,” Alex says. “Let employees flourish in the same ways. It’s about drawing on the entrepreneurial spirit of our employees and fostering their ideas.”
“I became an entrepreneur to inspire other ideas,” says Alex, recently named CEO of M Corp. “This gives us the freedom to choose things, to develop new ideas.”
It’s a business model that will benefit and raise the bar for M Corp, he says.
“The reward of building M Corp has been putting your face in the wind and leading the charge,” Alex says.
But the company founders will continue to play a critical role in the next-generation development and make sure M Corp remains true to its roots.
Alex says: “I’m still in a garage, it’s just a bigger garage.”