Praful J Lakhani – Founder

Praful’s entrepreneurial expedition began in the winter of 1968, when he arrived in the United States with $300 in his pocket, devoting the first $60 to the purchase of a coat. Juggling the demands of a master’s degree in operational research with a full-time job, he often faced confounding choices, like whether to buy food or a blanket. Yet his boundless imagination was struck by an emerging gadget that he predicted would revolutionize the business management universe: the computer. He added another item to his already extensive list of capabilities, honing his programming skills at a company that leased its own computers, opting to practice after midnight because rent was cheaper then.

 

After graduating Praful excelled at the companies he worked for, gaining rare privileges like a three-month paid vacation to his native India, where he traveled to marry. When he returned, he continued his savvy professional balancing act, holding down his company job in addition to launching an independent IT service venture that eventually became his sole focus—an early incarnation of Reliable Group. With a steadily growing roster of clients that even included his previous employers, Praful’s own business, PJL Systems, boomed as he provided unmatched software solutions to a staggering range of industries, which spanned the gamut from confectioners—software that PJL Systems developed claimed an 80% market share of candy manufacturers in the United States in the 1980s—to security integrators, including AFA Protective Systems, a company that continues to be a client today.

 

Praful’s unique technological foresight earned him a reputation as the grandfather of New York’s computer industry. Though he remains involved in an advisory role with Reliable Group, he is now a philanthropist and a social activist, devoting much of his time giving back to his native country through the Shrimad Rajchandra Sevakendra, a charitable initiative dedicated to providing services for senior citizens and the hearing impaired. His inimitable grit and tenacity remain integral components of Reliable Group’s DNA.

Praful Lakhani