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“Bridging the gap of job creation & Economic development through Technology, Innovation & Leadership”

Iyka Enterprises, Inc. (Iyka) was founded by Ms. Poonam Gupta-Krishnan in 2000.

Iyka serves the public sector and private sector clients nation-wide and globally. Iyka’s services include Data management through middleware solutions, product development, integration, application development, mobility solutions, quality assurance, and consulting services. They have premier partnerships with top OEM’s like Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, VMware, Cerner, NetApp, and more. Multiple national and regional award winning team of Iyka is a certified MBE/WBE/DBE/8(a)/WOSB business.

Technology Innovation Summit (TIS):

TIS is working towards its vision to collaborate Technology leaders, Government technology executives, and Entrepreneurs to have more technology innovation in the government sector. Founded in 2011 in collaboration with Illinois Institute of Technology and Iyka, TIS efforts are very much needed and appreciated in the community. TIS is in the process of working towards making a non-profit which will provide on-going training and support environment for government executives.


BusinessInterviews.com: Where does your entrepreneurial spirit come from?

Poonam: My entrepreneurial ventures mostly originate from a combination of personal and social needs that I witness. These observations are then paired with confidence and vision that dictates what I need to do to fulfill these needs. We see that many people have fantastic ideas but the amalgamation of courage, perseverance, and confidence is not up-to the mark to see the ideas flourish. I guess as a first generation immigrant I can still save myself from taking things for granted.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some ways that you help your clients simplify their technology clutter?

Poonam: We have developed analytical tools and processes to identify the critical business needs of our clients. We take the consultative approach to understand the business needs, current inventory of hardware, software, network, and talents, combine this knowledge with cutting edge technologies and propose high efficiency solutions.
In the last decade we have mastered the craft of collaborative technologies like middleware solutions, hybrid cloud, and mobile integration. We use these technologies to provide services that are process and energy efficient, intuitive, and scalable.

Often, periodic upgrades and the addition of new technology eventually make it more complex system which consumes more time, resources, and energy to get the job done. We provide fresh a evaluation alongside clients, helping alleviate fear of new and lighter system that is more cost effective. We also provide hands on training for their staff which brings a fresh breath of air in the client’s organization with considerable savings and happier employees.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your idea of launching the Technology Innovation Summit (TIS) and working to build a culture of innovation within your community?

Poonam:  There are currently over a half a dozen idea factories which have opened in Chicago over the last couple years. Many are focused on scientific research from area Universities, and some are private-sector groups. This is all healthy innovation for connectivity, startups and entrepreneurial spirit. However, there is a very big and missing piece when it comes to innovation utilization in the government sector. The government sector is in need of the time to provide better and more efficient services at low cost to all citizens. But simply because of the complexities of government businesses processes there has not been enough attention in putting efforts to bring innovation to this particular sector.
My company has been serving private and public clients for some years now. I have seen firsthand the public sector CIO’s struggle even after having great knowledge of IT and Management. I’ve had had series of discussions with IIT’s Center for Innovation Director, Praveen Gupta (No relations with me. Same last name by chance.) Praveen Gupta and Dean Dr. Carlson, helped launch this experiment, helping to bring all of the pieces together and introduce technology innovation in government sector. These pieces include government business process, budget management, technology tools selection criteria, leadership, political will, and more. The goal is to bring best practices using collaborative model where there is a better understanding of the process, and citizen engagement. The result that I expect is using diverse talents and synergies to bring better good for all in a community. I want to bring people with similar passion together and create many leaders that create a synergy to bring real innovation that serves our community.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about any challenges that you faced during the development stages and how you overcame them?

Poonam: Well, honestly I never encountered any hurdles. It felt the right thing to do so I kept going. After first event, when I interviewed some of the CIOs and economic development directors, I was sure that there was great need for what we experimented. This is not the first time that I have done things out of “norm” that I was convinced that is the right thing to do.

If I have to name the hurdles then here are a few real hurdles:
• Some people looking suspiciously at me and directly or indirectly questioning as why I am doing something seemingly so grand. That is something major corporations do. What is my personal incentive? There wasn’t and there isn’t personal incentive beyond – I SEE THE NEED AND I THINK I HAVE AN ANSWER TO FILL THIS gap.

• Second is the money. An event cost money that is too much for a small business. We need sponsors to come together to help make this community affair successful for all individuals, businesses, and government to prosper.

BusinessInterviews.com: Iyka has won a number of awards and accolades for innovation, which one was the most meaningful to receive?

Poonam: All recognition for job well done boosts the moral of the team. But real satisfaction comes when a client pats on the back and refers us to others. Our 99% business is through referrals. If I have to name one then I would say that Diversity MBA’s leadership award helped connect major corporate to serve on for-profit boards.

BusinessInterviews.com: Why do you believe that the major corporations that learn from small business tend to have more success?

Poonam: They do not learn from small business and have more success. But entrepreneurs with great ideas, product or services do not have same access to financial support and brand power as large corporations. This is the reason a lot of time and money is spent to get their offerings noticed by Major Corporations to get bought. Now the same offering has brand power and receptivity in the buyers’ market but at a much higher price. TIS is working towards standardizing the process of selection and showcasing meaningful offerings to the market.

BusinessInterviews.com: I know that you think that we all have more potential than we are currently using as individuals, corporations, and as communities. What are some ideas that you have for tapping into and using our higher potential and then keeping the momentum going?

Poonam: TIS is putting many programs like seminar series to learn from successful implementation of product and process nationwide, showcasing worthy innovation, mentorship, facilitating Public-Private-Partnership. And cross pollination will bring additional services to be used alongside with STEM education and tech hobby groups.

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