Work ethic key to Karta success
San Antonio, August 18th 2007
As a child growing up in Chandigarh, India, G.P. Singh studied from dawn until nightfall to earn a coveted spot in engineering school. It paid off.
The Punjab Engineering College selected Singh and only 14 others to attend out of a region of 20 million. Once there, he continued to work hard and earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering.
"It was extremely competitive," Singh said. "My parents never had to tell me to study."
That work ethic translated to success later on in life. In 1986, he founded San Antonio-based Karta Technologies, an engineering firm, in his garage. He recently sold Karta, with revenue of $60 million and more than 400 employees, to Reston, Va.-based NCI Inc., a public company focused on military contracting, for $64.8 million.
Singh likes to point out that it was not an overnight success, but a product of more than 20 years of hard work — work rooted in his upbringing in India.
As an employee of India's railway, Singh's father frequently moved his wife and eight children around the country. That upbringing gave Singh a love of travel and emphasized the need to study.
"Education was highly stressed in our family," Singh said. "In society at that time, if you didn't become an engineer or a doctor, you would not have a very secure financial life."
Singh knew from early on that to succeed he needed the best education possible. He would study from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. six days a week. After school, he would attend tutoring classes on special subjects.
All of Singh's brothers and sisters graduated from college, and today three of them have doctorates and four have master's degrees.
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