Sue Bhatia, Founder/Chair of Rose International, reflects on 25 years and offers her advice and wisdom to help other business owners reach their own milestones.

How 25 Years of Sustained Success Ensued at Rose International

Getting Started

It may appear to some Silicon Valley companies that overnight success is easy. However, in the field of staffing or any other traditional field, there are many factors that contribute to success. I’ve always used the analogy that being in business is like surfing; you are never on solid ground, you have to move with agility, and be highly flexible and alert to catch the next waves. Success is a labor of life and it’s necessary to think about it, dream about it and be in constant problem-solving mode to achieve it. As I celebrate my 25-year milestone of founding Rose International, I want to share some advice and wisdom I’ve picked up along the way to help other new business owners reach their own milestones.

Staying Persistent

When I opened my business in 1993, it was just my husband and I running the company at the time. We handled all of the responsibilities ourselves: cold calling, selling, interviewing, bookkeeping and management. Everything was on our shoulders to succeed. Persistence was the biggest help in overcoming initial challenges and taking on additional risks. I understood the quality of service that Rose International provided must be excellent in order to achieve continued success. We needed competence and quality to deliver to our customers, and the service we provided them also needed to bypass what our competitors were doing. These initial responsibilities are essential when you’re starting your business, but you’ll eventually have to ditch your boogie board if you’re hoping to catch larger waves and grow your business.

Thinking to the Future

Internal and external factors are constantly changing, much like choppy water in windy conditions, so you need to be prepared to carve your path. The old ways of doing things may not work in the new environment. Always research upcoming trends within your market, and it’s essential to invest in your own company to promote future growth. Entrepreneurs must effectively use the tools they have learned, and also build a strong team of employees if they want to successfully grow their company.

Share Your Vision with your Employees

You can’t control all factors that constantly change (remember choppy water in windy conditions), so focus on the things you can control. As the Founder/Chair of Rose International, it is my responsibility to practice the behavior I want others to follow. I made sure that I was cultivating an optimal work culture among our employees to build a solid structure that would take us into the future. The personal growth of an individual needed to be tied to the company’s success. When that connection is there, everybody in the company does well on a personal level because it now equals their bottom line. Rose International has been surfing along well since its inception in 1993. The journey itself is fulfilling, especially when you’re able to improve so many lives along the way.

Most businesses start with a desire to improve lifestyle or monetary need. After 25 years of hard work, the goals have become clean waves, such as:

  • Growing an organization that lives beyond the entrepreneurs.
  • Touching the lives of as many people as possible.
  • Inspiring excellence in every aspect of delivery.
  • Being a truly marvelous place to work for your employees.

If you can deliver on these ideals and avoid a wipe out, it creates an oasis amid the world where an employee can be creative, respected and excited to come to work every day. This is one of the best ways to make sure your company will continue to be successful and grow into the future.

  • When people feel valued, they are more creative and proud of their creations.
  • It’s up to the business owner to allow the work culture to perpetuate internally, or stop it right at your own boundaries.
  • Business is all about giving, just as life is. We can’t take anything with us. Being of service is the joy that we all need to experience every single day.
Choose the Best Team

You need a strong team to succeed, but you also have to think about how each employee will fit into your plans to make your company better. It has to be a good match for all parties. It’s not just that you’re hiring a good employee. Will that person be happy working for your company as well? That’s important. If you’re happy to hire them but they aren’t happy with the role, they won’t hang ten with you for long. Here are some tips to consider when building your team:

  • At Rose, we create a lot of opportunity for our own employees because we don’t hire from the outside for senior positions. We grow our people, and if we see talent within, we promote from within for senior positions. That’s very exciting for our employees all around the world.
  • If you have an immediate hiring need, you want to make that a priority, but you should also think about where else this person might fit into your company.
  • If you find someone looking for growth opportunities and you have growth opportunities to provide, chances are it will be a good fit.
  • Through all the discussions and meetings, the ability for personal growth within our company is contagious. Believe it or not, people do get that energy.

Looking back at the past 25 years, all of the trials and tribulations I’ve dealt with have led to my proudest professional accomplishment: founding Rose International and working diligently to take it to greater heights. My principles of relentlessly pursuing growth and always providing opportunities to employees have remained the same throughout the entire process.

Remember, being in business is much like surfing. Using this advice from my 25-year path to success, I hope it will help you improve your agility, flexibility and overall ability to catch that next big wave


Sue Bhatia
Founder/Chair, Rose International

Himanshu (Sue) Bhatia is the Founder/Chair of St. Louis-based Rose International, a leader in providing innovative end-to-end Workforce and Technology Solutions to both commercial organizations and government agencies from offices and development centers in 20+ U.S. cities and India, and a WBENC-Certified WBE since 2003. Sue was named one of Fast Company’s “Top 25 Women Business Builders in North America,” as well as receiving an “Enterprising Women of the Year Award” from Enterprising Women Magazine. She has also been honored to receive the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Entrepreneurial Success Award, and the Missouri Small Business Person of the Year award. Last year, she was named one of WBENC’s Women of Distinction. Learn more at