San Antonio Sikh Honored as Businessman of the Year

June 27, 2006

Source: Express-News

On June 27, 2006 Express-News reported, "Balwinder Dhillon finds it easier to describe how his software and computer design company grows than to explain the projects it puts together. Almost 70 percent of his business comes from government agencies, and most of that is on security-sensitive work for the U.S. Defense Department. After scanning his memory for something safe to discuss, Dhillon cheerfully offers that one of his teams just wrote online training programs on hygiene and pest control for soldiers in Iraq. Dhillon, president and chief executive officer of Amer Technology Inc., may be discreet about the work, but he stepped into the limelight in May when the U.S. Small Business Administration recognized him as the San Antonio district's Small Business Person of the Year. Pamela Sapia, business development supervisor with the San Antonio SBA office, said Amer Technology earned the award based on a review of its balance sheets over the past three years. The agency looks at sales volume, employee growth, territory expansion, staying power and the use of innovation to overcome obstacles. Since its inception in 1995, the company has grown to 250 full-time employees in a dozen cities. It maintains a network of 750 consultants nationwide — mostly computer science engineers who staff projects as they become available. There are 45 employees in San Antonio, and Dhillon expects to hire another 15 to 20 in October... Dhillon's affinity for military projects hardly started in the United States. He is a Sikh from the state of Punjab, India, and he began his career as an electrical engineer for the country's Central Public Works Department. Terrorists were entering Punjab from Pakistan in the 1980s to carry out violence intended to create tension between Sikhs and Hindus, Dhillon said. A 170-kilometer fence was constructed, and it was Dhillon's job to illuminate it with floodlights that were erected every 50 meters. 'I was with the Border Observatory Posts from the start until I came here four years later,' Dhillon said."