Editor’s note: This profile is part of an occasional series on minority or women-owned companies that do business with HISD. The district’s minimum M/WBE goal levels are 20 percent for all levels of purchasing and construction, and 25 percent for professional services. In the 2007 bond program, that commitment reached nearly 34 percent. In the 2012 program, the contracts awarded to date reflect a nearly 51 percent M/WBE commitment.
Name of business: United Air Conditioning Supply
Number of employees: 10
Years in business: 32 years
Answering the questions: K.M. Khetpal
Q. What is the primary purpose of your business?
A. We sale air conditioning, heating, ventilation and refrigeration equipment and parts to schools, government authorities, businesses, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors, apartments, and hotels.
Q. As the owner, what is your business background?
A. I graduated with a mechanical and electrical engineering degree from NED College of Engineering in Pakistan. I worked in the HVAC business in the Middle East in places like Dubai and Pakistan for 20 years. I started the business here when I moved to Houston in 1981.
Q. What makes your business unique?
A. We are a minority business enterprise that carries large quantities of equipment, installation materials and specialty parts of different air conditioning manufacturers.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession?
A. Meeting with customers.
Q. How did the district’s Business Assistance program help you before and after you were awarded a contract?
A. We’ve bid on many HISD projects and have done business with HISD for more than 10 years. At first, we supplied air conditioning compressors, portable air conditioners and other parts for air conditioning units. In September 2011, we received a HISD contract to supply air filters to many schools. Every month for the last two years, the district has bought air filters from us.
Q. How do you believe your company will make a difference for HISD?
A. We feel very good about doing business with HISD. A month before giving us the contract, they even called us for a meeting to talk about how our small company can fulfill this contract. I told them that we could supply the materials on time. The people we’ve done business with there are very nice, and HISD pays on time.
Q. What advice would you give M/WBE firms seeking to do business with HISD?
A. Be very competitive, meet specifications for contracts and supply materials on time.