Benaka Inc.: Providing Honesty, Respectful General Contracting
- Written by: Benaka Inc.: Providing Honesty, Respectful General Contracting
- Produced by: Benaka Inc.: Providing Honesty, Respectful General Contracting
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Benaka Inc. started in 1994, the year C.N. Manjunath set out to build a general construction firm that would focus on responsive, cost-effective project management and turnkey services. Today, the company is an 8(a) SBA-certified business with over 17 years of experience in commercial, institutional and public sector new construction, renovation and related services. In its early days the company inched its way into the public school market, then opened the door for contracts with the Department of Defense, the National Parks Department and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today, the New Brunswick, N.J.-based company prides itself on providing reliable interior and exterior renovations, remodeling, building additions and ground-up constructions on government, federal and privately funded projects of all sizes through the Northeast United States. Benaka is a multi-dimensional contractor, but the company delivers all projects with the same unparalleled customer services and a promise of overall satisfaction to project owners.
“We treat our clients with respect and honesty, and we maintain a dedicated team to work on each individual project so that the client gets undivided attention and a quality project delivered on schedule and within their budget. We set out to assure a real value for the client’s money,” says Manjunath, who still leads Benaka as company president. This approach allows the company to streamline operations and provide each client with reliable, on-time projects completed within budget, which adds to the company’s continued success in the public sector.
In its history the company’s simple, attentive philosophy of quality at a competitive price has established Benaka as a fierce competitor for job order contracting (JOC) and indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract structures. These full-range procurement and delivery methods are possible because Benaka’s 20 employees include project managers, architects, civil engineers, superintendents and tradesmen, and the company maintains crews for general maintenance, carpentry, painting, hardware, doors, and odd and ends that can often fall through the cracks but can make all the difference between a good experience and bad. Additionally, the team can call upon a network of trusted partners that can perform up to the Benaka standard and still provide a competitive price.
The Domino Effect
Benaka is hold many certifications, including: HUDZone, N.J. Category-5 Small Business Enterprise, N.J. Div. of Property Mgmt. & Construction (DPMC), N.J. School Construction Corp. (NJSCC), N.J. Public Works Contractor, N.J. Public Works Contractor, N.J. Transit BC, BR-GC, and SP Prequalified, N.Y. Dormatory Authority (DASNY) and U.S. Postal Service Qualified Bidder. The company has successfully executed projects at various government facilities, hospitals, museums, schools and college, religious facilities, and more. Some of its clients include West Point Military Academy, the University of Maryland, the Montgomery Housing Commission, the Army, the Army Reserve, the Air Force, the Navy, the New Jersey Department of Education and more.
In fall 2011 Benaka was invited to submit proposals to the New York City School Board for ongoing maintenance in a five-year period. “In our experience there will always be a couple of contractors who bid very aggressively early on and then quickly learn the hardships of bidding too low,” says Manjunath. Instead, Benaka keeps a small team of three full-time estimators on hand to submit the right price to compete without compromising the company’s reputation. This team manages to submit an average of 80 bids a year. And demand for Benaka’s in-house expertise and unwavering standards has made it a popular choice amongst the federal government’s many departments.
Benaka’s ability to tie all activities together, focusing on the overall picture to establish priorities and deliver a successful project, has made the company a preferred strategic partner whose work has led from one contract to another. Working for a series of demanding public entities, the Benaka team is aware of the pressures to perform consistently, and to be accountability and prepared for all contingencies. “We’re only human. We don’t like to make mistakes, but when we do, it’s important to correct them with lightening speed,” asserts Manjunath.
In January 2010 Benaka was awarded a contract for the renovation of two townhouses aligned with the Smithsonian Institute’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. At present the Cooper-Hewitt houses all exhibitions in its historic Carnegie Mansion, but the organization will be reorganizing its operations across the three buildings to consolidate operations and increase exhibition space by 70 percent. The National Design Library will move out of the Carnegie Mansion and into a permanent home in one of the newly renovated townhouses along with some of the administrative offices.
Initially Benaka had an uphill battle to cater to the demanding needs of the client and varying site conditions, which required lots of redesigning and coordination, but the company regrouped and completed the project, allowing the beneficial occupancy of the client. “We had some small problems early on, but the project completed on time and the client is happy,” says Manjunath. The completed townhouses achieved LEED certification, include an advanced security system, and provide space for administrative offices and modern amenities like WiFi and multimedia workrooms for students and scholars at the National Design Library.
Building for Tomorrow
In late 2011 the Benaka team was hard at work completely replacing the industrial coating at one of Montgomery County’s Germantown Indoor SwimCenter. The indoor pool facility had been experiencing some severe problems with the metal coating applied to its interior. In response the Benaka team set up scaffolding across the entire facility to sandblast away the coating, even from the ceilings. The team then applied a proven anti-corrosive solution from TNEMIC Industrial and Architectural Coatings designed for use in high-humidity environments. The project proceeded on an expedited 108-day schedule, with the workforce taking on double shifts totaling 16 hours a day for 50 percent of the project’s duration to complete on time. Despite the complexities of the operations, everything went off without a hitch. “These scaffolds were up to 100 feet in the air and even so we had no injuries and no OSHA incidents to report,” says Manjunath.
From 2010 until late 2011 Benaka had crews at the Keystone Jobs Corp in Drum, Pa., where they were building a new dining facility. The U.S. Department of Labor runs the Jobs Corp to provide training and education to young adults at no cost to the students or the students’ families, and the new dining facility provides the Keystone location with more space than ever to feed its hungry students. In total, the new dining facility sprawls across 18,000 square feet and seats up to 350 patrons at a time. The building is ripe for study by the school’s construction program students and is just another example of the consummate services delivered by Benaka’s team of talented and dedicated professionals.
In the coming years, Manjunath will aim at keeping the company’s annual growth between 10 and 15 percent, allowing the firm to uphold the level of service it prides itself on providing. With its comprehensive skills and strategic plans firmly established, Benaka Inc. will continue to surpass owners’ expectations on projects of all sorts.
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