Shahid R. Khan
Shahid R. Khan, owner and chief executive officer of Flex-N-Gate Corporation, began working for the company in 1970 while studying Industrial Engineering at Illinois. Born in Pakistan, Khan came to the United States in 1967, at the age of 16, to attend the University of Illinois.
Khan continued to work at Flex-N-Gate until 1978, when he left the company to start a new venture. With the help of a Small Business Administration loan, he began a new business designing and building an innovative bumper system—a lightweight, continuous piece of metal with no seams to corrode or rust. This entrepreneurial adventure, which began as a one-man, one-garage, one-press operation, created a product that is considered the industry design standard today. More than 90 percent of the pick-up trucks and sport utility vehicles have bumper systems supplied by Flex-N-Gate.
Khan purchased Flex-N-Gate in 1980, and he remains the sole owner. Today, the corporation employs more than 15,000 associates at 49 manufacturing plants in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Brazil, with annual sales exceeding $2.7 billion.
The company’s major product lines include complete bumper assemblies, mechanical assemblies, exterior plastic trim, trailer hitches, and running boards for a variety of pick-up trucks, suvs, and passenger cars. It supplies the big three domestic automakers—Daimlerchrysler, General Motors, and Ford—as well as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, BMW, and Volkswagen.
The company has posted solid financial results throughout its history and enjoys a reputation as a product innovator, best in class manufacturer, and generous civic contributor.
Khan shares his life with wife Ann and their two children, Tony, 27, and Shanna, 22. He became a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) of Corporate Executive Officers in 1990. He is active in numerous social and civic causes, helping others achieve their American Dream.
BS, Industrial Engineering, 1971