"I have a great relationship with PNC. My banking team is always supportive and willing to help, and my business banker helps me build new relationships by sharing her network of business associates."
Descending from a long line of entrepreneurs, Kiran Gill didn't hesitate to take the reins of the environmental consulting firm she had been working for, PARS Environmental, when its owners put it on the block in 2003. Then only 23 years old, Kiran approached her bank and her uncle, a supply chain entrepreneur, for loans to help her acquire the company.
"I knew we had a good thing going in terms of expertise and commitment; that gave me the confidence to take the financial risk," says Kiran, who has in the past eight years led PARS' growth from $500,000 to $10 million in annual revenues and increased staffing from five associates to 50. The company addresses environmental, health and safety, and engineering challenges for major utility companies, municipalities, school districts, Fortune 500 companies, manufacturing firms and government agencies including the Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service and General Services Administration.
"We have grown - and continue to grow - because we invest in innovative, sustainable technologies that give our clients an amazing edge. Our leadership in this area has enabled us to expand into new markets with great success," says Kiran, who has led the company's geographic expansion from a tri-state presence in the Northeast to a national footprint.
Capabilities Trump Gender and Age
Although PARS Environmental is a certified woman-owned business, the firm is without exception invited to the table for its capabilities. When she first took over, Kiran found the male-dominated industry to be challenging, but she quickly overcame clients' and competitors' preconceived notions.
"Being young and female, I wasn't what people expected," she explains. "But new clients were able to get past that and become comfortable with us fairly quickly once they recognized that we offer cutting-edge, cost-saving solutions to their challenges."
Kiran's age surprised many bankers as well. "When I approached PNC's predecessor, Yardville National Bank, about a personal loan to buy PARS, they were accepting and supportive from the start," Kiran recounts. "Today, I continue to have a great relationship with PNC. My banking team is always supportive and willing to help, and my business banker helps me build new relationships by sharing her network of business associates."
In addition to completing undergraduate studies and additional coursework in environmental science, anthropology and industrial hygiene, Kiran went back to school after hours to earn her MBA. "I'm focusing on building a solid infrastructure for our business so that we're positioned to play a major role in the green and sustainable practices movement," she says. "I intend to continue growing the business aggressively, particularly in developing new technologies for energy reduction and alternative energy. PARS Environmental is definitely poised to grow - globally as well as domestically."