Did you know that Tarun and I have four children? Yes, really! Chronologically our babies are Neil, Humera, Josh, and Entigence.
Entigence was born on January 17, 2002. Tarun picked her name by combining the words “enterprise” and ”intelligence".
Like all Capricorns, Entigence was hellishly headstrong. Even with Tarun and me at the helm, she went wherever she wanted to go. When she threatened to fall off the rails, we were there to re-center her.
For two decades, she was our baby, our business, our high, our low, our anxiety, our thrill.
On Friday, Entigence's assets and teams were acquired by Deloitte Consulting.
Tarun and I certainly alternated with angst on letting her go, but the truth is our youngest, fiercely eclectic, and most boisterous offspring was way too street-smart for her cerebral siblings. There is no way we could have left her in their care. We knew it was time to let her go.
An opportunity for a trustworthy exit doesn’t come knocking on your door multiple times. When it does, you grab with both hands and run. Although the acquisition came a year earlier than we had planned, we sprinted at world record speed.
Being entrepreneurs took us on an unexpected journey.
Starting the business took an hour. Hiring employee number one took half a day. Doing the first year W2s took ...wait for it...a typewriter! Dealing with government regulations made us want to drink and succession planning kept us awake at night.
Growing the business was hard. Explosive growth would have required professional managers and discipline. Instead, entrepreneurs, like me, prefer flying by the seat of our pants. Despite the handicaps, Entigence sustained herself remarkably well.
Having a global giant come knocking on our door was incredible. Not just for Tarun and me who took the idea of Entigence from a mere name to an M&A, but also for each person who came to work with us and believed that the brand is worth their effort. Our admiration for them is boundless.
To our clients, we offer awe. They picked us from the rough, trusted our instincts, validated our knowledge, allowed us to evolve, and gave us the space we needed to do our best work. There is no doubt that they shaped Entigence's DNA.
My most sincere gratitude is reserved for Tarun.
He arm-twisted me into starting Entigence and stuck by mama and the girl through thick and thin. He dished equal doses of cheer and tough love. He masterminded our retreats to New York City, Honolulu, Milan and Paris and energized us to work seamlessly across geographies. He was the responsible adult when I couldn’t muster the wherewithal. Years ago when I was challenged with a particular sale, I told him I was going to throw in the towel. In response, he forcefully asked, “Who gave you the choice to walk away?!” That question rung in my ear every single day from then on.
In the backdrop of the good and fun, I cannot ignore our tough years. A friend caught me hyperventilating in one of these down years and reset me with a nugget of wisdom: If you haven’t had a loss year, you haven’t run a business. Indeed, the lessons we learned in the recovery were the most valuable of all.
Entigence stayed true to her nature by departing on Friday the 13th. She was our fearless girl, our warrior!
Dearest Entigence - you did well. Thank you for delivering the satisfaction of serving the biggest names in our vertical, making lifelong friends, and catching the attention of one of the most valued brands in the world. We have no doubt that you will continue to guide us with your simple motto - kick butt and get it done!