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News & Press: Sep 2010

BITSian Wows the Corporate World – Jai Shekhawat and Fieldglass take Centerstage

Thursday, September 30, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: BITSAA Newsletter
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Fieldglass, Inc., the leading technology provider to procure and manage contingent labor and services, has been taken over by Madison Dearborn Partners, that valued it in excess of $220 million and validated Fieldglass' leadership position in the growing services procurement market. With Fieldglass, Madison Dearborn Partners purchased more than technology and a high-margin, high-growth business, they've also acquired a highly skilled and close-knit team. Madison Dearborn Partners are one of the largest private equity firms in the US and also own Boise Cascade, TransUnion, CDW etc. Fieldglass was founded by Chief Executive Jai Shekhawat 10 years ago, who is a BITSian and was at the helm of affairs, steering his company into its bright future.

This illustrious alumnus of the Pilani campus now boasts 20 years of industry experience with software development, information technology and management consulting. Jai is ranked 7th on SI Review’s 2010 "25 Most Powerful People in Staffing” and has innumerable such medallions on his belt. Under his leadership, Fieldglass received a Stevie Award for "Most Innovative Company in North America” in 2007.

A break-away from a family that served traditionally in the Indian armed forces (Admiral Shekhawat was the Chief of the Indian Navy a few years ago), Jai Shekhawat graduated from BITS, Pilani with a Bachelors Degree in Management and started off at Tata Burroughs (now Unisys) as a programmer. Soon, a Masters in Business Administration with specializations in Finance and Strategy from the Northwestern’s J. L Kellogg School of Management followed and Shekhawat joined McKinsey & Co. in Chicago.

What appears a charmed career path today laid itself out before Jai Shekhawat there onwards. As head of operations at Syntel, a software services firm, he helped build the company to nearly 700 consultants as well as create an international sales and service delivery organization to provide application management services to the Global 2000. Prior to starting Fieldglass, Jai co-founded Quinnox, an IT and Business Process Outsourcing firm located in Naperville, with development and sales operations in five countries. Today, Fieldglass is known globally for its ability to support the largest and most complex contingent workforce management and services programs, with a glittering clientele including names like American Airlines, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon.

In a message to BITSAA, Jai speaks fondly of his time at BITS Pilani - " I remember there being a lot of creative energy in Pilani. Lots of very bright students who would be successful at anything they touched. The key for future entrepreneurs is to not let that edge dull over time. Entrepreneurship is essentially an act of creation, of seeing something different and pursuing it with single mindedness. My time in Pilani was extremely rewarding in that sense "


Fieldglass is a Chicago-based vendor of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based platforms to facilitate management of human resources. It was built partly at the offshore facility in India and the product is now being used in 63 countries and has been translated into 8 languages. Fieldglass has been written about in the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Chicago Tribune, CFO magazine, CIO magazine and all the major analyst firms such as Forrester, Gartner, AMR, and Aberdeen. Thirty Eight million dollars were raised in venture capital and the VC's will receive a nearly five times return on capital invested, which is among the highest venture returns for this period.

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