One of Country's Fastest Growing Companies Has 'Firmly Planted' Hinsdale Roots

Hinsdale native Rahul Pandhi runs CollabraLink and says the tech consulting company that now works with the U.S. Military and the Department of Education began in his parents' Hinsdale kitchen.

Who would have thought that a $9 million tech-consulting company that contracts with federal government agencies in Washington D.C. and is among the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. can start in a kitchen on north Vine Street?

"Basically we worked out of our house for the first year—in our den and at our kitchen table," Hinsdale native and CollabraLink Technologies President Rahul Pandhi said, who in 2008 joined the company started five years before by his father, CEO Yash Pandhi. "Eventually, we moved down to the basement."

Humble beginnings for CollabraLink, a company that is still officially based in a small Hinsdale office at 211 Chicago Ave. The company has since expanded from two employees to nearly 50, operates mostly in Washington D.C., and was .

"We’ve had a nice ride and a lot of those roots are firmly planted in the 60521 zip code," Pandhi said.

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CollabraLink is a tech consultant that develops for large clients software that makes their operations more efficient by completing via the web tasks that were formerly performed by people and with paper. 

"[CollabraLink] takes these processes and it puts them into software that helps to automate it and helps to streamline it," Pandhi said.

Pandhi, a graduate of , and , said his company has found a niche in the beltway, and has a D.C. client list that includes the U.S. Military, the Department of Education, the Department of the Treasury, and the Defense Information Systems Agency. 

The company started its focus on government agencies around 2009, said the 34-year-old Pandhi, who started making trips out to the D.C. area once or twice a month.

"It basically ramped, and ramped, and ramped, and I was able to win a bunch of contracts," Pandhi said.

In the process, CollabraLink has gotten national attention.

Inc. Magazine ranked CollabraLink the 35th-fastest-growing company in Illinois and the 694th-fastest-growing in the U.S. in its "2012 Inc. 5000" feature in August.

According to Inc., the company has raised its annual revenue from $1.2 million in 2008 to $7.2 million in 2011, a 512 percent increase. 

CollabraLink's growth hasn't stopped since Inc. last counted, either. Pandhi says current revenue projections hover around $9 million and the company employs nearly 50 people, more than the 25 Inc. listed as of 2011.

Pandhi, who now lives in northern Virginia with his wife and 18-month-old son, said his father still works out of the Hinsdale office with several other administrators. The headquarters, he said, will never move.

"I really feel a connection to Hinsdale because I grew up there. ... It was the birthplace of CollabraLink," Pandhi said. "That house and that office is where we really got our wings." 

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