Living the American dream . . .
By Wim-Kees van Hout, Senior Vice President, Scott Valley Bank, Oakland office
Scott Valley Bank’s long-term client, Kal Krishnan Consulting Services (KKCS), is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, having successfully negotiated growth, economic cycles, the vagaries of public works contracts (remember California’s IOU’s?) and changing regulations.
Kal Krishnan is in many ways the personification of the American dream.
Having come to the US from India in the late 1960’s with just $12 in his pocket (the maximum exchange rate the Indian government would allow—he also recounts that he didn’t have any more to be exchanged anyway!), he quickly worked to put his master’s degree in engineering to good use and managed to land himself a job at several pulp and paper companies in Maine, Oregon and Washington, finally settling down to work at Kaiser Engineers in Oakland in 1982. Focusing on the construction industry, he launched KKCS in 1987 on a platform of providing senior engineers and project managers to public works construction sites for the duration of the job –a model which KKCS still holds to today. The company has thrived over the years to become the multi-million dollar venture it is today, employing some 85 professionals. The company was unfazed by the recent recession, continuing unhindered on its growth path with strong ethics and capable management.
Kal puts his success down to a number of guiding principles:
Stay focused on core competencies
Deliver on your promises and commitments
Always be prepared for a rainy day and retain earnings to deal with those times
Understand and ask questions about changes in the balance sheet and income statement
He says “Just because one makes a profit for a couple years, one should not splurge on a BMW, or a Mercedes as you may not actually have the cash on hand. To understand this succinctly it takes years of managing a business including making mistakes. Then you must persevere when times get tough.”
Kal Krishnan’s story, and that of his company KKCS, is an impressive piece of entrepreneurship, company management, dogged determination, engineering prowess and salesmanship. He is justly proud of his own and his company’s achievements.
Scott Valley Bank salutes Kal and Kal Krishnan Consulting Services for what has been achieved and looks forward to many more years of close co-operation to help Kal and the next generation reach their goals.