The 2015 Seven Small Jewels: On Prem Solutions Partners

OnPrem Solution Partners
OnPrem Solution Partners is a consulting and technology innovation firm focused in on the media and entertainment industry. OnPrem was founded in 2013 by Jon Christian, Frank Leal, Candice Lu and Christophe Ponsart. The four had previously worked together at another firm. In April of that year, Leal says the four finalized their plans to launch OnPrem and “two weeks later we hung a shingle and started hiring people.”

Among the four of them, Leal says they have some 90 years’ experience in the media and entertainment space. “We have extremely strong relationships both on the client side and on the talent side, so we were able to ramp up really quickly both in terms of supply and demand,” Leal says. “And our relationships afforded us opportunities on both the business consulting side and the technology side.”

Leal says the firm was, and remains, incredibly committed to hiring top talent. “We all believe, at the end of day, talent will win in this business,” Leal says. “It’s a services business and the firm with the smartest people with the most experience will provide the best service for their clients.”

OnPrem, which works with all of the major studious in Southern California, has had an incredible first 18 months. The firm finished 2013 at a very modest $1.5 million in revenue and 13 consultants.

Even though it wasn’t groundbreaking from a revenue perspective, Christian says he’s “proud of 2013 because in the media and entertainment industry, it’s really difficult to get MSAs with the major studios, and we were able to do that in a little less than a quarter. That’s unheard of, ” he says. “Much bigger firms aren’t able to work with all the studios at once. And we’re able to do that based entirely on relationships.”

And Ponsart, who runs the firm’s Austin office, says 2013 was important “because we were in the process of putting in the foundation, all of the processes and steps that are required to get a company off the ground,” he says. “That foundation had to be strong enough to support very large growth of the company.”

It sure did, because in 2014 OnPrem grew its team by 500 percent and its revenues 600 percent. “That growth was a combination of a couple of big client wins and our ability to attract top talent in the marketplace,” Lu says. “That’s always key for us. We have a really compelling story to tell, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much our story resonated with folks. Our last round of interviews, we made 10 offers and received 10 acceptances—that’s insane.”
OnPrem isn’t slowing down any time soon. This year, the firm plans to bring in 55 consultants and grow 80 percent.

“We think there are significant growth opportunities in L.A. where we have our largest presence,” Christian says. “We’ve done work for all of the majors but two of them have been the lion’s share of the work so there’s still a lot of opportunity there.”

In addition, he says the firm expects to be able to expand in both the Austin and New York markets, particularly the latter.

Leal says going forward, the growth rates will probably ease a bit to the “40 or 50 percent range” in 2016, 2017 and 2018. “We can hit our growth targets, for sure, but the bigger question is are we going to be able to find the new hires and the type of talent we need to make it happen.”