When founding member of HAKS, Husam Ahmad, noticed a lack of programs geared toward helping young architecture and engineering firms, he took the opportunity to “fill the void.”

“There were many business lessons learned in the course of HAKS’ growth,” Ahmad says of the firm, which began with two employees and now boasts a staff of over 650. “The HAKS Mentoring Program (is) designed to provide participants with a step-by-step approach to building a successful enterprise.”

Starting in 2013, Ahmad offered the program to HAKS’ sub-consultants, which resulted in seven participants. Senior employees spoke to the group regarding the best practices for the success in the field, delving topics such as identifying clients and projects, teaming opportunities, staffing requirements, marketing, financial strategies, contract and insurance considerations.

“Each speaker brings his or her unique and valuable perspective to the sessions,” says Ahmad.

Sridhar Uttara, president of Info Tran Engineers, P.C., in East Orange, attended the first program in 2013. “It helped us tremendously in every aspect of business,” he says.

“We increased our revenues significantly after the mentoring program,” he added.  “I have attended prior similar mentoring programs but this one was conducted by Founder, CEO, CFO and all business heads with their real-time life experiences.”

While it can be a challenge to accommodate various schedules, the program has been a success, and three years later, it now has averages 20 participants. There are nine sessions a year, with a graduation in June.

“As the program has grown, it has seen the participation of small contractors along with the more traditional engineering firms,” says Ahmad. “Needless to say, the successful growth of any of the participating firms is the most rewarding part.”