Few entrepreneurs have the good fortune to bump into a business angel in the waiting lounge of an airport. Yet this was what happened to Chander Vasdev, who met would-be investors Manny Millor and Derek McConnell in 1996 at Heathrow airport. Vasdev persuaded the pair to come in on his plan to launch a software business that would use cheap skilled labour in India to make software for companies in Britain. They founded ION IT a few months later, forming a partnership with Itil, a New Delhi firm, to develop the software. With 75 staff at its High Wycombe headquarters, and access to 800 software engineers at Itil, the company makes software for the likes of Xerox as well as smaller companies and local councils. Its sales grew 147% from £358,000 in 1997 to £5.4m in 2000, when ION employed 80 people. It forecasts sales of £8m this year.
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