Jai Shekhawat believed so much in his vision that despite many setbacks — including rejection from more than 90 venture firms and an early dispute with an outside vendor — he successfully developed one of the first true software as a service solutions through his company, Fieldglass Inc., in 1999.
Large businesses now use his company’s technology platform to procure and manage contingent workers, services such as statement of work projects, independent contractors and specialized talent pools. Shekhawat personally raised early funding for Fieldglass based on his vision for its future. Today, the company is the largest vendor management system provider at nearly double the size of its nearest competitor and its technology has been adopted by some of the world’s biggest brands.
With operations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Shekhawat is now planning for future global growth. Last year, the company secured several customers in the natural resources industry and its innovative vendor management system solution is now used in remote locations such as mines in Alaska and Mongolia, broadening Fieldglass’ industry experience. Shekhawat is also involved in the community.
He is a founding member of the Firestarter Fund, where successful Chicago entrepreneurs support the next generation of local founders. He is also a founding member of the Chicago chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs and has been active on the Mayor’s Council of Technology Advisers and the Economic Club of Chicago’s technology committee for six years. In addition, he led efforts to establish “Running for Rachel” in 2011, a charitable program in honor of Fieldglass’ late general counsel.
How to reach: Fieldglass, www.fieldglass.com