praful-kulkarni_headshotMr. Praful Kulkarni

Praful [pruh-full] M. Kulkarni

Chairman, Design Build Institute of America DBIA

Founder/President/CEO, gkkworks

Praful M. Kulkarni is an ardent learner. Growing up in a community of little means, he found hope and inspiration in his education, which earned him a full scholarship to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

He then received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to study in the United States, where he obtained a Masters of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Later, he obtained a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Praful highly values his own personal educational experiences. He credits his success, in part, to his education and is a successful business leader in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, a majority of gkkworks serves K-12, community college, and university clients. Serving these clients is a small way for him to give back as gkkworks partners with educators to “imagine and create the best possible places to learn".

In 1991, Praful founded the architecture and construction firm, gkkworks, to fulfill his dream of developing a professional services firm with a new paradigm rooted in an old and proven “Master Builder” approach. The firm is also a seven-time recipient of the Zweig White Top 100 “Hot Firms” in the country. And, gkkworks is ranked by Engineering News Record as one of the Top 100 Design Firms, Top 100 Construction Management Firms, and the Top 500 General Contractors. In 2011 Praful received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He currently sits on the National Board of Directors for the Design-Build Institute of America, and often speaks at local and national events, project delivery, and general AEC business best practices. Praful is currently also the past chairman for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).