The partners: Former college roommates Met: 1986 Fused: 1995 Bonding event: Sharing dishes from the old country
In upstate New York there isn't much Indian food. So how are two young men of Indian descent supposed to feed their yearnings for it? In the mid-1980s Santhana Krishnan and Yash Shah, who were roommates at Clarkson University, in Potsdam, N.Y., trekked together to Montreal, where Krishnan had relatives who plied them with Indian delicacies.
The road trips cemented their friendship. A few years after graduation they lived together in Waltham, Mass., where each worked. Krishnan taught at Bentley College, and Shah was a programmer at software powerhouse TRW. In 1992, Shah became an IT consultant for Hewlett-Packard. A year later Krishnan joined Shah's division. In March 1995 the two men left HP to start their own IT consulting business.
Today, as partners at $5 million InteQ (#272 on the 2000 Inc. 500), based in Burlington, Mass., the verbally polished Krishnan is CEO, and the technically adept Shah is president and chief technology officer. But in other realms of their lives they could swap places. Not only were their daughters born within a week of each other, but the two men live on the same street in a Boston suburb. Occasionally, they even share an Indian meal together.