Luna Ahmed is our Minnesota Tech Exec of the Year 2015
Luna had abruptly lost more than just a business partner — Farhan was also her husband the father of their two young children ages six and seven.
Luna, a native of Bangladesh, and Farhan, born in Pakistan, had met in 1994 while studying Computer Science at Mankato State University. Upon graduating in 1997, they took their first programming jobs with the same employer, and would become married shortly thereafter.
Luna and Farhan started the Edina-based .Net consultancy in 2002, operating side by side every day for twelve years. Together, they ran the local Microsoft Developers User Group, hosting monthly meetups and maintaining a list of 4,000+ practitioners. In 2006, the duo launched the Minnesota Developers Conference, a staple event that consistently drew crowds from coast to coast to Minneapolis.
It’s impossible to think that two lives could be more intertwined.
ILM – meaning “knowledge” in Farhan’s native language Urdu, started with a single 1,000 square foot sublet office. Over the years, they went from 2 to 3, from 3 to 6, and built it up to 26 full time employees by the time of his demise in early 2014.
After a short period of mourning, Luna returned to work and focused solely on maintaining continuity one day at a time. ILM realized $4.2m in revenue that year, essentially on par with the previous, as not a single client was lost through the tough transtion.
While Farhan left a huge gap that can’t be filled, Luna has only perservered in his absense.
2015 has proven to be a redeeming one; her company has grown income by 30% to $5.5m, 42 employees now and 3 new Fortune 500 client acquisitions. In September, the Minnesota Developers Conference celebrated its 10th anniversary with 450+ attendees, setting an attendance record.
“Farhan will always be the CEO and that’s his legacy,” Luna says, describing how she opted to retain her title of President while leaving the CEO seat filled in his honor.
“I’m not alone, quite the opposite. Our team has become one big family.”
Cheers to another prosperous year ahead, you’re a remarkable woman Luna :)