|Bal Gupta : Profile|
Bal Gupta graduated from Lehigh University in 1973 with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He spent three and a half years as a project engineer with Lehigh Engineering Company, a consulting/engineering firm involved in the design and manufacturing of mechanical parts for the nuclear power industry. In 1977, Bal moved to Pittsburgh and joined Schneider Incorporated, a construction company with heavy involvement in nuclear power plant projects. Bal reported directly to the chairman/owner and was involved in the technical oversight and quality assurance aspects of Schneiderís nuclear work.
In 1978 Bal was asked to develop a new consulting/engineering business unit for Schneider. He conceptualized/started Schneider Consulting Engineers and developed/executed a business strategy that eventually expanded the company into one of the fastest growing firms in the United States. Integral to this growth strategy was Balís acquisition of Design Services Incorporated, a local computer graphics company with state-of-the-art CADD technology. He also developed the strategy for and sold a major multi-million dollar, multi-year engineering contract to design seismic piping and supports for a major nuclear plant project. In addition, by acquiring a Control Data mainframe computer and software he was able to facilitate the design and analysis of these nuclear systems. By 1986 Schneider Consulting Engineers had grown to $40 million in annual revenues. As the result of continuous technological initiatives, and the ability of the Schneider Group to execute design/build projects, the companyís overall annual revenues grew to $500 million.
During this time period, Bal was given the additional assignment to straighten out a failing Schneider subsidiary, Latrobe Die Casting Company. As interim chief operating officer, Bal formulated and implemented strategies to improve quality and reduce losses. He assisted in developing and executing a plan to sell the company.
In 1989, the parent construction company began experiencing serious financial difficulties due to investments in non-core businesses and problem construction projects. Bal aided in the formation of a crisis management team and spearheaded efforts to rescue the Schneider Group from what appeared to be certain bankruptcy. They began closing down unprofitable businesses, selling off assets, repaying debt and facilitating settlements with general creditors. In 1990, this team developed and executed the formation of Vanadium Enterprises Corporation and negotiated an asset purchase of a portion of the Schneider Group. Those assets formed the basis of the new Vanadium Companies.
Vanadium Enterprises Corporation began operations in May 1990 with Bal as the Executive Vice President of the parent corporation and the engineering company, a member of the Board of Directors and Secretary of each subsidiary company. With four operating subsidiary companies, Vanadium provides engineering, environmental, facilities operations and maintenance, computer-based mapping/GIS systems, and construction related services. After five years of operation, Vanadium grew to over 2,000 employees, generated annual revenues in excess of $160 million and retired all of its acquisition debt.
In 1993, one of the Vanadium subsidiaries, Jones Krall Inc. (JKI), started failing and in 1994 it lost close to $600,000. The board appointed Bal president. He quickly assembled a strong management team and spearheaded a focused approach to profitability including the establishment of tighter operating procedures, reduction of corporate overhead, aggressive marketing and cash collection. He also added two new divisions to JKI, Remtech (environmental remediation) and JK/Zell (inspection services). Remtech achieved profitable operation in its ninth month and JK/Zell in its third month. In 1995, under Balís leadership, JKI made a profit of over $400,000, a $1,000,000 turnaround.
In 1997, Bal joined Phoenix Solutions, Inc., a computer software and services company as COO. The company was insolvent and financial situation was rapidly deteriorating. Bal took decisive actions to substantially reduce operating costs, made substantial changes in personnel, financing, banking and legal structured the company. In one year, the company was turned around and enjoyed 65% growth in revenue, the company reported net positive income and was free from any lawsuits and claims. Bal was responsible for developing debt and equity capital for the Company.
In April 2000, Bal joined Jeff Zell Consultants, Inc., as Chief Operating Officer with the objective of diversifying and growing the companyís practice, which included Executive Management Consulting, Construction Management, e-commerce business planning and IT Consulting Services. In 2005 the company diversified into major civil engineering projects through the addition of a subsidiary ďcĒ corporation, Zell Engineers, Inc., located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Under Balís guidance, the revenue of Jeff Zell Consultants, Inc., grew from $800,000/year in 2000 to over $5,000,000/year by 2009. In 2011, Bal left Jeff Zell Consultants, Inc. to relocate to the Silicon Valley area.