Indianapolis business owner Kevin Paul’s 14-year stint in the U.S. Army Reserve likely is providing him an advantage
when competing for government contracts.
And maybe the bachelor’s and master’s degrees he earned from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business
are coming in handy as well.
At any rate, the combination of Paul’s education and military background has helped vault his company, KPaul Properties LLC, into the top 10 of the latest Inc. 500, an annual ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
The listing, announced Tuesday by Inc. magazine, ranks KPaul No. 10, with revenue growth of 10,925 percent in a three-year span ending in 2009. Its revenue in 2009 was $11.2 million. KPaul estimates revenue will climb to $18 million this year.
KPaul is a holding company for four divisions that provide hardware and software, industrial, office and medical supplies. The company supplies branded products under the TekMentum and Sanigo brands.
Government contracts account for 99 percent of revenue. But Paul maintained the business is hardly a sure thing for his company, which has received the certification of service-disabled veteran-owned small business. He declined to explain his disability.
“Even if you have the designation, it doesn’t really mean anything,” Paul, 32, said. “You will get one opportunity and, if you fail, you will never get the business again.”
Paul joined the Army in 1995 following his graduation from Ben Davis High School. He became an emergency medical technician and was promoted to a medical service officer once he earned his business degree from IU in 2000.
As a first lieutenant, he was in charge of communication and purchasing while serving in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. He started his company after his return from duty.
In the meantime, he got a master’s in global supply-chain management from IU in 2007. He left the Army last year.
KPaul’s government clients include the Army, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.
A contract KPaul landed in July, known as a blanket purchase agreement, could land the company in the next Inc. 500 list. The $100 million deal allows KPaul to sell hospital supplies throughout the entire U.S. Army.
It took KPaul about 18 months to land its first contract, with the Army, valued at $25,000. Paul credits the company’s success to its service, competitive prices and dedicated sales force.
The company has 89 employees, most of whom are located in 40,000 square feet of warehouse and office space in the Park Fletcher industrial park on the west side. KPaul also has sales representatives in Chicago, Phoenix, San Antonio and Portland, Ore., and plans to penetrate Washington, D.C., soon.
The goal is to have 100 sales reps by the end of the year and to double that figure by the end of 2011, he said.
Additional space at its Indianapolis office may be in the offing as well.
“It’s very competitive,” Paul said of government contracting. “Having that boots-on-the-ground experience in Iraq helped a lot.”
Other Indianapolis companies making the Inc. 500 were: Mansfield-King, a contract manufacturer (298th); Wellfount Pharmacy, an institutional medication manager (327th); Smart IT, a staffing agency (384th); and Archway Technology Partners Inc., a software firm (432nd).
Smart IT ranked seventh nationwide among black-owned enterprises. Another Indianapolis-based company, Entap Inc., placed ninth in the category. Overall, the IT outsourcing firm ranked 516th.