Gateway Electric Inc.
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Gateway Electric Inc. (Gateway) has made an impact on Ohio’s history by providing the full suite of electrical contracting services since its founding in 1994. Gateway employees proudly provide clients with engineering, installation and maintenance services for the gamut of high- and low-voltage specialties, giving projects of all sizes the same focused cost-effective oversight. It is no surprise that Gateway has become one of Ohio’s premier electrical contractors due to the team’s longevity and ability to field any request within the electrical trade.
Rajinder “Roger” Singh, founder of Gateway, began his venture in the industry in 1972, ensuring the immigrant from Punjab, India, would establish a successful company. Roger skipped his college graduation ceremony in India to make the last plane to come to America, as in the late ’60s and early ’70s the United States was recruiting doctors and engineers from Asia to enhance the industry. Roger was one of the selected few; he stepped on American soil on Oct. 11, 1971 at the ripe young age of 21, and with less that $100 in hand.
“We do a little bit of everything,” explains Jesse Singh, Roger’s son and project manager at Gateway. Jesse joined Gateway in 2011 after spending five years in California working for some of the largest electrical contractors in the country, garnering plenty of experience. During his time in California, Jesse even worked on the largest project in the state of California in 2007: Palomar Medical Center West. As much as Jesse was encouraged to pursue other professional endeavors, the attraction of his family’s business – a business he virtually grew up in – proved too strong.
When Jesse returned in December 2011, Gateway was thankfully on a steady and strong growth trend, having pulled through the worst of the economic downturn thanks to its many and diverse loyal clients. Gateway was fortunate to have enough work on the books with longtime clients to sustain its employees through 2007, 2008 and 2009. This allowed Gateway to position itself for further sustainably paced growth just as signs of improvement bubbled to the surface.
Leading the Electrical Community
Gateway is affiliated both with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 38 Chapter in Cleveland, Ohio. Roughly 10 professionals provide support services to a team of approximately 75 to 100 union electricians, according to Jesse’s estimates. The bulk of Gateway’s work is concentrated within the Cleveland metropolitan area, but the company will travel across northern Ohio and even a bit farther for the right client and the right job.
All in all, Gateway provides clients with an array of in-demand electrical contracting specialties. These specialties include telephony, networking, security and card access systems, as well as heavy-duty and highly complex installations of power distribution systems, industrial light fixtures and top-of-the-line energy-efficient lighting control systems. In particular, Gateway’s union affiliation assures customers that all work will be performed not just to the union’s quality and safety standards, but with Gateway’s signature fondness for value engineering as well.
“We’re proud to be a Minority Business Enterprise [MBE],” asserts Jesse. Gateway’s MBE certification just adds an extra dimension to its competitive stance in the marketplace, though. Clients continue to enlist Gateway’s help because of the company’s reputation as a reliable, skilled and driven operation capable of pulling its own weight with the best of the industry.
Such a strong reputation is especially imperative in today’s market. Gateway’s abundance of public-works projects and skinny profit margins, where risk is high and no primary contractor can risk reputation or the success of a project betting on an unseasoned operation. It’s not uncommon for Gateway to join a project as primary electrical contractor and, in turn, Gateway expects its own subcontractors to invest heavily in their mutual performance. Given the company’s extensive areas of expertise, the company brings in subcontractors infrequently either to fill in gaps with something outside its capabilities like trenching, or to augment its workforce.
Gateway employs some of the most advanced technology and industry-specific software, such as Accubid, EBM and AutoCAD. The team’s grasp on technology enables Gateway to provide clients with the accurately engineered designs that can often be integrated seamlessly with plans from the other trades to avoid conflicts and scheduling setbacks from on-site surprises after breaking ground.
Gateway’s technological prowess came into play heavily when building the Horseshoe Casino’s welcome center and parking garage. The building was complete with a parking garage and gift shop, where the team oversaw all of the electrical systems, including security, fire alarm and lighting. “It was really a landmark project for us, but it’s also the first casino to come to Cleveland,” reflects Jesse. “We hope the connector bridge to the Horseshoe Casino and the welcome center and parking garage, which is in the design stage, comes to fruition so we can continue to work on a iconic project for the city of Cleveland, Ohio.”
Additionally, Gateway insists all of its employees develop a comprehensive understanding of all major electric equipment manufacturers in a given area and that employees stay on top of the latest technologies and trends. The company works with systems from many companies including EATON Cutler-Hammer, Cooper Lighting and Devices, Lithonia Lighting and Controls, Hubbell Lighting and Controls, Pass & Seymour, Legrand Wiremold, Leviton Devices and Controls, General Electric and Siemens – assuring customers that every installation will live up to the manufacturer’s promises, regardless of price point. If a customer decides to invest in a pricier LED lighting system, Gateway can steer clients toward the products that will produce the energy savings advertised.
As a result, Gateway has established itself as an ally for green building projects. Gateway signed on in 2012 to help construct a small portion of the new global headquarters for Eaton Corporation, a global leader of electrical components and systems for a range of high-performance applications. The 580,000-square foot building is located in Beachwood, Ohio, and will consolidate roughly 700 employees relocating from disparate locations in the greater Cleveland area. Aside from consolidating its employees under one roof, Eaton also will pursue LEED certification for its design, turning its global headquarters into am emblem of its ambitious sustainability platform. “We’ll be doing a lot of the site work for the project, as well as some more work for the building’s wellness center and entry pavilion,” expands Jesse.
In the next few years Jesse expects the company to maintain a steady growth trend, allowing Gateway to maintain the team’s diverse skill sets. In the process, the company maintains the close-knit working environment that allows Gateway Electric Inc. to provide the kind of customer service that clients across Ohio insist on.
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