Rishi Khanna | CEO | ISHIR

Rishi Khanna | CEO | ISHIR


A global diversified outsourced IT services company

The business world changed a lot with different digital techniques and ideas. Many businesses are processing smoothly in their domain with the help of digitization. ISHIR assists its clients to achieve their business objectives by successfully outsourcing their non-core business processes and functions in the areas of technology and digital marketing. ISHIR has been servicing clients thousands of miles away, maturing into a core dependable extension of a client’s internal team.

In a conversation with Rishi Khanna, CEO at ISHIR lets discover more about the firm and their journey from the inception.

  • Tell us about the company.

ISHIR, an Inc. 5000 company, is a trusted partner to many Independent Software Vendors (ISV), System Integrators (SI), Interactive Digital Marketing Agencies, start-ups, and large fortune 500 companies since 1999. We recently got the accolade from Great Place to Work.

 ISHIR has extensive experience in providing outsourcing non-core business processes – IT functions (custom software development, application development, product development, SharePoint consulting and development, PWA, software testing, managed IT services, managed hosting, cloud computing solutions), Web Design and Development, Internet Marketing (search engine optimization (SEO), paid search (PPC), display, web analytics, and social media marketing services), Artificial Intelligence(AI), Internet of Things(IoT), Robotics Process Automation(RPA), setting up Built Operate Transfer (BOT), specialized R&D facilities, and non-IT business process outsourcing (BPO) functions (data entry, research, photo editing, customer support, finance).

ISHIR is an SEI CMMi Level 3 company. We are also Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, VM Ware Solution Partner, and Google AdWords Company. We minority-owned and certified by NMSDC and NCTRCA.

  • What were the initial challenges you faced?

Started the business at the end of 1999 where the business model was to provide IT talent to the dotcom businesses. 5 months after the formation of the company there was the major dotcom burst in March 2000, which make us think who are target customers are going to be. We pivoted our services leveraging our capabilities in web application development and design towards software development companies that were traditionally building software for the desktop and traditional marketing agencies that needed to build a web presence for the businesses.

  • Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?

In 2002, 9 months after the 9/11 attack we almost went out of the business because of the back lash on outsourcing services outside the US. Our firm commitment to our business model and our confidence in our services made us relentlessly focussed and committed to the business. Despite economic and political challenges, we never look back we just bulldozed forward.

  • How have the company graphs changed since the foundation?

The business has had its ups and downs based on economic and political changes over the last 20 years. We saw tremendous growth from 2002 to 2007 much like other companies experienced. We saw a flat growth or decline between 2007 and 2010 and since then, we have been continuously experiencing growth.

  • What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success?

Our focus on core purpose, core values and maintaining the culture of the business along with focussing on our people, their personal and professional plans has given us a foundation of great talent and business leaders who are passionate about what they do and are able to work on the unique abilities to create a path of continuous growth and learning. Our people our culture our continuous desire to grow has been the reason for our long-standing success.

The Services

  • What are the services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?

We focus on custom software development for the web, and mobile. We provide infrastructure services around Cloud, DevOps and offshore, nearshore, onshore IT staffing services, and Digital Marketing services. Our focus on customer experience and ideal customer outcome has ensured our services provide the right value to our customers which differentiate us from our competitors.

How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services?

We are very good at accessing the emerging technology trends. We invest in continuous training and proof of concepts to help our teams to try out, risks, experiment with the new technologies. We constantly stay ahead of the curve on tech trends.

 Is there any new addition to the list of products/services? Anything exciting you would like to share?

Currently, there is a lot of demand around business automation leveraging AI and machine learning. We are currently investing more in RPA, AI, machine learning and services around them for our customers.


  • What do you think are the responsibilities of an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur has superpowers to bring a change in society improving our daily lives by challenging the stethoscope and issues that concerned our community.

Entrepreneurs’ responsibility is to leverage superpowers towards the betterment of the community and society as a whole.

They are risk-takers. They have comfort in continuous change and disruption.

They don’t get led down, demotivated when they face a dead end. In fact, it challenges them to find a way and do it.

  • Can you please brief us about your professional experience?

I started my career at Deloitte in the management consulting practice. Deloitte give me the foundation to understand unstructured business challenges and make structured meaning out of them. Deloitte gave me the foundation to even how professional companies run. The training and experiment allowed me to think and start ISHIR in IT services. My short stint of 16 months and now 20 years of ISHIR as an entrepreneur has shaped me into a well-seasoned business person. As an entrepreneur, I have learned a lot of stuff about myself as well as how to attract a great team of people to build a business.

  • What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey?

First and foremost, over the last 20 years, I have been able to discern my own unique abilities and appreciate the things I was not good at and to identify people who are good at the things I was not good at.

I have been able to navigate the business through 3 major economic and political cycles over the last 20 years, the business and I have impacted over 1200 employees through the platform of our business. And even we have impacted 2500 businesses over the last 20 years. Our social responsibility programs have impacted the people who are in the most needs and we have the support of our people impacted their lives through monetary and non-monetary contributions.

  • How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique?

As a business leader, it is my responsibility to help people much like creating a business plan for their lives. To help people identify their own core purpose, core values, and core beliefs and their unique abilities to impact their lives and families. Working together on the things I make sure that I and my team members become better every day.

  • Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight?

In ISHIR, we have some amazing relationships with our customers. And we have been able to help our customers scale and disrupt and stay relevant and innovate. We appreciate client relationships where they share our core values and purpose and treat our people with the utmost respect and dignity to help achieve excellence for all stakeholders involved.

Personal Questions

  • Can you tell us what your favourite book is? And your favourite part of the book?

I’m an avid reader, I try to consume as many useful books each month as I could and try to implement nuggets in our business. My most recent book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility lays a number of great concepts around people and human resource management. There is a number of chapters that help us to come out of the editorial challenges and reinforce initiatives that we are already working on.

  • One person, who you admire the most?

Both my parents have a lot of great influence on my life as an entrepreneur. Both my parents have been entrepreneurs and while growing up I watched them grow their business and now they appreciate my business acumen and how I took it from them and have taken it forward.

  • Whose business story do you find the most inspiring?

Tony Hsieh from Zappos, his story about how ‘Delivering Happiness’ to his employees has led to great business and growth of the company.

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” — Mohammad Ali.

  • Constant vigilance- a need or a strategy? Please share your views.

It’s a strategy because what gets inspected gets improved.

  • It’s a rat-race out there. How do you cope with that?

You have to stay away from shiny objects and focus on what’s important for your business and you.

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