Sanjay Nasta, CEO of MicroAssist, Inc. and EO Austin member, began his company by delivering classroom training computer software; since then, MicroAssist has begun working with outreach organizations to educate audiences on larger social, cultural and health issues. We spoke with Mr. Nasta about his company’s outreach and how it has impacted his entrepreneurial experience.
We started as a training company, selling software training about the time Michael Dell started selling computers in Austin. But as time went on, we wanted to focus on areas that created greater impact, specifically creating training for customers and constituents of organizations. When you train outside the organization, you gain positive attention for your company.
When did you start working with the Military Child Education Coalition?
Approximately two years ago. We have a few veterans in our office and have an understanding of military life and culture. Our Vice President of Sales is the Chief of Staff for the Texas Army National Guard right now, so he has a deep understanding of the issues involved, including separation, transition and mobility. When we started the conversation with Military Child Education Coalition, we knew it was a good cultural fit.
How do you create and format content with an organization?
We rely on our client to be the subject matter expert; we don’t claim to have that kind of specialized knowledge. We know how to convey that knowledge into training; the human brain learns in specific ways, and we employ experts to make that translation of information as effective as possible. Then our developers construct that training collaboratively with all of the previously mentioned experts.
Are these tutorials made available to a public audience?
Each tutorial is created for a specific audience, depending on the client, and clients determine how they will broadcast and market the training. For instance, in the case of the Prevention of Perinatal HIV Transmission training, the target audience is healthcare professionals. The state of Texas has done a wonderful job of delivering this information, which has helped drastically lower the infection rate in newborn infants.
How often do you work with organizations to update their training?
It depends on the program – for many programs, we’ll work with the organization every year to update what’s needed. As we continue to transform this content with companies, the depth and trust of these professional relationships increase, and it makes our work much more meaningful and efficient.
How have these experiences affected your role as an EO member and the way in which you reach out to your community?
Every company focuses on the profit, but our company gets a lot of satisfaction through helping create social and cultural impact. Our instructional designers put in a lot of extra time and passion to make sure the end result is just right. When you’re helping improve the life of a child, people are willing to give 110% to the effort. The projects that create societal impact our passion projects. They have really made me refocus our mission.