In 1975, he entered into a partnership to establish Stress Technology & Products (ST&P), a consulting firm that within the next three-years, evolved into a manufacturing and fabrication business.
Piping Technology & Products, Inc., was founded in 1978 by Durga Agrawal.
When Durga Agrawal first established Pipe Technology & Products, Inc. in the summer of 1978, he sought to create a niche for his company in the pipe support industry by providing fast, dependable service for his customers.
During 1978, Agrawal’s firm went through a reorganization that involved a transformation from consulting to manufacturing and fabricating business.
Durga Agrawal established Piping Technology in 1978, just in time to take advantage of this furious activity in the petrochemical industry.
In 1978, however, the original partnership dissolved and a new company, Piping Technology & Products emerged with Durga Agrawal at the helm.
Agrawal assembled a core of talented people including Randy Bailey, Ben Tatum, and Art Usher, to help him launch PT&P after the reorganization of 1978.
Since Durga Agrawal established PT&P in 1978, he has remained steadfast in how he manages the company.
In business since 1978, Piping Technology & Products, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries (United States Bellows, Inc., Sweco Fab, Inc., Pipe Shields, Inc., and Anchor Darling, Ent.) offer a wide range of engineered products and services for various industries and applications.
In 1981 the population grew 7.2 percent, employment rose 8.4 percent, including 167,000 new jobs in oil field equipment manufacturing, and personal income shot up an incredible 19.9 percent.
But late in 1981, PT&P’s management—Durga Agrawal, Randy Bailey, and Terry McCormick—saw the signs of an approaching slowdown.
Hershel Rich built the company into a successful fan-manufacturing firm before selling the business to the Sunbeam Corporation in 1981.
Finally, Durga Agrawal, Randy Bailey and Terry McCormick had seen the downturn approaching as early as 1981 and began to search for alternative markets.
Although the Bayou City had been one of the best locations in the nation in which to start a business, the sudden demise of the “boom” in 1982 should have meant disaster for PT&P. But this was not the case.
Then suddenly, in 1982, it all began to sour.
One of the firms that saw opportunity in the electric power deregulation was a California energy company, Calpine, founded in 1984 by an engineer, Peter Cartwright.
Four years later, in August 1986, they were trading for $9.50 a barrel, and 245,000 people had lost their jobs in Houston in that four year period.” The falling oil prices meant a decline in revenues for the oil companies.
After he joined the firm in September 1986, Rhodes initiated a series of “manager meetings” to provide a forum in which PT&P officials could raise issues, express concerns, and offer suggestions that would address the needs of the company.
The Shaw Group was established in 1987 as Shaw Industries, Inc., a pipe fabrication company.
In fact, when the economy began to bounce back in 1988, PT&P emerged from the malaise in position to take a leading role in the piping industry.
Many companies survived the energy recession and some found themselves in better condition by the time the Houston economy began to turn around in 1988.
By 1988, there was no land available into which the firm could expand.
In January 1989, Texaco formed a joint venture, Star Enterprise, with Saudi Refining Inc. (SRI), an affiliate of Saudi Aramco.
Baker Hughes then merged United States Bellows subsidiary into its Bird Machine Company, which it had acquired in 1989.
Here in 1990, Rich presents Agrawal with a contribution to the India Earthquake Relief Fund.
During the next ten years, Shaw embarked on a series of expansions including the 1994 acquisition of Fronek Company, Inc. and F.C.I. Pipe Support Sales, Inc.
In 1995, PT&P had acquired expansion joint manufacturing equipment and know-how from RM Engineered Products.
The acquisition of Ketema-United States Bellows came shortly after PT&P’s 1995 acquisition of another expansion joint manufacturer, RM Manufactured Products.
As Durga Agrawal recalled, “After the acquisition of RM in 1995, the machines were kind of congested.
With the acquisition of RM in 1995, PT&P’s recently expanded shop quickly became congested.
In 1996, Baker Hughes purchased United States Bellows and its parent firm, Ketema Process Equipment Company.
In 1996, Shaw purchased Pipe Shields, Inc., a highly regarded California manufacturer of pre-insulated pipe hanger supports.
During July 1997, the company further expanded its expansion joints and bellows manufacturing capability through a major equipment acquisition from the Bird Machine Company.
In 1997, the United States-Bellows acquisition increased PT&P’s bellows capabilities and also enabled the company to diversify into a new field, the manufacturing of aluminium bellows.
United States Bellows, 1997
The 1997 acquisition of Ketema-United States Bellows from Bird Manufacturing, mentioned briefly in the previous chapter, had a significant impact on the ensuing growth and success of PT&P, and is worth revisiting here.
He joined PT&P as controller in March of 1998.
The building was in good condition and had enough room for some foam production (insulated pipe supports) and several offices that had been occupied by the accounting department since it moved from Long Drive in 1998.
During the spring of 2001, Calpine announced its plans and sent out a request for proposals (RFP) to engineering and construction firms and piping companies.
Thus, by 2001, Shaw Group was well positioned when it received the RFP from Calpine to provide the kind of package bid the company requested.
In 2001, PT&P became heavily engaged in providing products for new natural gas–powered merchant electric power plants with its first Calpine contract.
Just three years later, in 2001, Chevron acquired Texaco and sold that company’s holdings in Motiva to Shell the following year.
When the opportunity arose in 2001, Agrawal decided to go in a new direction by going after power industry projects as an addition to the company’s oil and petrochemical business.
One of the most significant awards bestowed on Durga Agrawal was his selection in 2001 as the United States Small Business Person of the Year for the state of Texas by the United States Small Business Administration.
Durga Agrawal and wife Sushila, with President George W. Bush at a White House reception in 2001.
Customers continued to return to PT&P, and in some cases provided special recognition of the company’s reliability and capability as a major supplier (Bechtel Power Corporation, 2002, Calpine), and expanding their business relationship with blanket purchase or umbrella-type agreements.
On October 6, 2003, Doctor John Mendelsohn, president of M.D. Anderson, and Doctor K.A. Dinshaw, director of Tata Memorial Center, signed a Sister Institution Agreement in Mumbai.
When PT&P acquired Pipe Shields in 2004, it added a subsidiary that had a sterling reputation in the piping industry and also held the prestigious ISO-9001 certification for quality control.
He invited Agrawal to the White House several times during his administration for visits that included Diwali celebrations, the Asian American Pacific Islanders Commission, and in July 2005, a state dinner with the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh.
The ITAC charters were renewed on February 17, 2006, and members were reappointed to their committees.
13 India House, Board of Directors & List of Committees, available at: http://www.indiahousehouston.org/index.php; David Ellison, “An Opportunity to Give Back: India House Project Will be a Community Center Offering Services to Everyone,” Houston Chronicle, March 13, 2006.
In 2006, Motiva began preparations for a massive expansion of its refinery in Port Arthur.
10 President Bush developed a keen interest in India, which he visited in 2006, in part because of his interaction with the Indian American business and professional communities with whom he first became acquainted during his years as governor of Texas.
In 2006, the original founders organized the nonprofit group, India House, and bought ten acres of land in southwest Houston to build a new community center.
In October 2007, the former Indian president, APJ Abdul Kalam, visited Houston with stops at a luncheon hosted by India House and at Rice University.
Construction on the massive project began in 2007.
In 2007, Sonatrach awarded KBR a contract worth approximately $2.8 billion for the engineering, procurement, and construction of the new 4.5 million-ton-a-year export plant.
The first of these historic projects came in 2008 with the beginning of construction on the expansion of the Motiva Refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.
During the economic recession that began in 2008, PT&P’s diverse line of products enabled the firm to remain competitive and provide a variety of goods and services that remained in demand from its customers.
By 2008, as PT&P began its fourth decade in business, the company had reached a level of achievement in which all of its employees could take pride.
Several months later, in February 2009, Texas governor Rick Perry visited India House for the formal opening ceremonies of the Community Service Center.
The museum opened the Arts of India Gallery in May of 2009 with a special USB Fine Arts Friday event.
2 Durga Agrawal, interview by William H. Kellar, May 19, 2009.
4 Durga Agrawal, interview by William H. Kellar, May 27, 2009; Hydrocarbons-techonology.com, Available at: http://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com/projects/sonatrach/; LNGPedia, Available at: http://www.lngpedia.com/algerian-skikda-lng-delayed-twoyears/
12 Durga Agrawal, interview by William H. Kellar, May 19, 2009; International Trade Administration.
8 Rakesh Agrawal, interview by William H. Kellar, July 27, 2009.
Rakesh Agrawal, interview by William H. Kellar, July 27, 2009.
7 Larry Altshuler, interview by William H. Kellar, August 10, 2009.
David Smith, interview by William H. Kellar, August 12, 2009; Larry Altshuler, interview by William H. Kellar, August 10, 2009.
15 Sushila Agrawal, interview by William H. Kellar, October 8, 2009; MFAH, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, “UBS Fine Arts Fridays,” May 15, 2009.
19 Ray Walker, interview by William H. Kellar, October 26, 2009; William McDonald, interview by William H. Kellar, October 26, 2009.
20 William McDonald, interview by William H. Kellar, October 26, 2009.
18 Greg Savage, interview by William H. Kellar, November 20, 2009.
5 Randy Bailey, interview by William H. Kellar, January 25, 2010.
21 Randy Bailey, interview by William H. Kellar, January 25, 2010; Ben Feller, “AP Source: Obama to Announce Nuke Plant Loan,” Houston Chronicle, February 12, 2010.
On February 17, 2010, the Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative renewed the ITAC charters and Durga Agrawal’s appointment to ITAC-2 for another four-year term.
On February 17, 2010, the ITAC charters were renewed once again for four years.
On June 4, 2010, a few months after being honored with his appointment to the THECB, the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering and the Engineering Alumni Association presented Agrawal with its first Lifetime Achievement Award.
India House, “Swami Ramdev of the University of Patanjali Meets with Doctor John Mendelsohn of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,” Press Release, June 29, 2010.
By 2010, PT&P’s growing prominence in the industry provided opportunities for Agrawal to use his experience as a businessman to help influence public policy and also gave him opportunities to provide support for many charitable and philanthropic endeavors.
Plans called for the new expansion to increase the refinery’s capacity by an additional 325,000 barrels a day to 600,000 barrels a day by 2012, making it the largest refinery complex in the United States.
Durga Agrawal’s appointment to ITAC-2 also was renewed until February 17, 2014.
|Company Name||Founded Date||Revenue||Employee Size||Job Openings|
Leggett & Platt1883
Cameron Welding Supply1963
Baker Hughes, a GE-
Texas Pipe Works1985
Tarter Farm and Ranch Equipment1945