Co-founder & CEO | Pariveda Solutions, Inc.
You may not pronounce it correctly the first time, but Bruce Ballengee had his reasons for choosing the occasionally mispronounced moniker of his company, Pariveda.
Ballengee serves as co-founder and CEO of Pariveda (pronounced par e vay da) Solutions, an IT consulting company. The name, derived from Sanskrit, means “gaining the benefits of complete knowledge,” which is the problem-solving approach of the company.
“A critical nuance of ‘Pariveda’ is that you cannot achieve perfection-in this case, perfect or complete knowledge,” Ballengee said. “That is reserved for God. It instills a healthy jolt of humility into our thinking while we’re in hot pursuit of excellence.”
Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Ballengee graduated from Baylor majoring in Finance and Economics. After receiving an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago, he returned to Texas, taking a job with the management information consulting division of then Arthur Andersen and Company. Ballengee said he also had other reasons for returning to Texas.
“My fiancée was a Baylor undergrad at the time,” he said. “She is now my wife of 28 years, but she laid down the law against colder climates!”
Ballengee first became interested in IT while working for Andersen and participating in classroom and on-the-job training to learn necessary skill sets. Years later, he established Pariveda Solutions in 2003. The learning process is something Ballengee now focuses on with employees.
“Our employees are strongly advised to engage in a lifetime of learning and deliberate practice,” he said. “They benefit from learning and the effects are cumulative and permanent-the more they learn and practice, the wider the capability gap they open on our competition. Continuous practice makes this personal advantage sustainable well past retirement.”
Along with skilled employees, another advantage for the company is using “varying degrees of novelty,” most often with suggestions of applying information technologies to solve clients’ problems.
“Once we suggested and later implemented repurposing the genetic algorithm (artificial intelligence) used in a retail PC-based computer game to automatically schedule a fleet of oil tankers,” Ballengee said. “The application was able to improve operating income by 20 percent.”
While at Baylor, Ballengee said he spent countless hours with faculty of the business school and the debate program who showed him how to “live a purposeful life in the service of others.” The experience led him to become a strong advocate of mentoring, which he says is part of what he enjoys most about his work.
“The best part of my work is developing talented people throughout their careers from college graduate to vice president/partner,” Ballengee said. “That involves showing them the way, coaching and mentoring them along the route, savoring their accomplishments, and urging them to pay it forward.”
Settling for the present is not in the cards for Ballengee. Utilizing a characteristic of any successful businessperson, he prefers to think futuristically.
“Pariveda is designed to explore (hopefully successfully) a new business model for the emerging knowledge economy of the 21st and later centuries,” he said. “We want to be better and believe we must be different to do it.”