Getting to Know iWorks: Our Origin Story
By: Becky Chawner
Seventeen years ago, in March 2005, our President and CEO, Jothi Radhakrishnan, established iWorks Corporation in Northern Virginia. Jothi originally worked as an industrial/manufacturing engineer, where he learned process-driven practices. After moving to the United States, Jothi learned the consulting business at KPMG, which he describes as an entrepreneurial culture. Jothi gained exposure to process optimization, proposals, and technical solutions, and after moving to a position that required a lot of travel, Jothi used his consulting knowledge to start iWorks.
The inspiration for our company’s name, iWorks, comes from the prevalence of the term “works” in many industries, such as millworks or woodworks, and the “i” is an abbreviation for “information.” From the beginning, iWorks focused on information work – our first contract supported the building of a technical system for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).
Jothi met Kumar Gnanamurthy, our current Senior Vice President and CFO, on this contract. Kumar worked independently as the technical lead, supporting Fannie Mae’s Investor Reporting group solutions, and he introduced Jothi to Raj Kathamuthu, our current Senior Vice President and CTO. After a few months, Kumar and Raj joined iWorks, and the three would meet weekly at a Starbucks in Ashburn, Virginia to discuss the company’s plans and execution.
Kumar moved to the United States to attend Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he received a master’s degree in engineering science. Kumar’s work at a startup, amusement.com, and as Management Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers gave Kumar a penchant for objective solutions to business problems.
Raj worked in IT consulting in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States in 1999, when he dealt with the Y2K issue. Raj’s work in the United States supported the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) and he met Kumar working at a Virginia-based consulting firm.
Although the three individuals did not have business degrees or come from a business background, they leveraged their knowledge of the technical consulting industry and belief in hard work to build a new company.
The three founders describe their mission to become a trusted partner providing innovative solutions to our clients and to create a diverse, inclusive, collaborative, and respectful workplace where people are empowered to achieve their professional goals.
Over the past 17 years, iWorks has grown from a single employee to close to 100 employees, executing contracts valued around $100 million for several federal Department of Defense agencies, civilian agencies, the state of Virginia, and commercial clients. Stay tuned as we share more about iWorks, such as the impact iWorks has had on our employees, in the next installment of this series.