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Gaby Batshoun

Through trial and error, he made a name for himself in the IT industry.

For some, entrepreneurship is a pipe dream. For others, it’s in their blood. How could they ever do anything else? For Gaby Batshoun, Northern Kentucky University alumnus and founder of Global Business Solutions (GBS), a local IT company, it was only natural to be a business owner.

“I come from a family of entrepreneurs,” Batshoun reveals. “My father worked his way up from being a mechanic to owning his own factory. Watching my father and other family members run their own businesses, I never saw myself doing anything else.”

Batshoun was born in Jordan, grew up in Morocco then moved to America in 1987 to attend college. While he didn’t attend NKU until his sophomore year, he certainly made the most of his time on campus.

He started dual bachelor’s degrees in manufacturing engineering technology and electronics engineering technology. The programs were new and gave Batshoun hands-on experience in automation, robotics and manufacturing processes. And thanks to his experience working in the NKU computer lab, he was able to gain knowledge in another area of interest—information technology. At the time, the university was upgrading its IT network infrastructure, and Batshoun was given the opportunity to help with these network upgrades.

“You have to take risks to be in business. Never be afraid of failing. Try new things, and if they don’t work out, learn from them and move along.”

“Don’t be afraid to take advantage of opportunities in front of you,” he says. “You never know where it could lead.”

After graduation, he took a job where he supported IT infrastructure for multiple companies. He realized IT services was a growing field and discovered he could do the same work on his own terms and founded GBS in December 1994.

The business was hired by schools and organizations of all sizes that needed IT services, and GBS essentially acted as an IT department for these organizations. To get GBS off the ground and running, Batshoun worked 80-hour weeks. A lot of trial and error was involved, but he quickly found a place for GBS using IT to meet needs of businesses in the area. In the early ‘90s, he saw that everything in business was going to become IT-dependent. By combining his manufacturing and electric engineering knowledge with his IT experience, he could offer customers unique solutions to their needs.

Long before automation was prevalent outside of manufacturing, Batshoun was able to use IT automation to solve clients’ problems in ways that no other company could at the time.

“In this industry, determining what can be automated is mandatory,” Batshoun explains. “We discovered in schools, projectors were going through bulbs like crazy because the teachers would forget to turn them off at the end of the day. We found a way to network the projectors and shut them off at the end of the day, saving the life of the projector lamps. We figured out how to best help our clients while also cutting down on our potential labor and expenses. That’s essential in the business world.”

Batshoun has made GBS stand out in the area, thanks in part to hard work and long hours but most importantly to thinking outside of the box in solving clients’ problems His piece of advice to those trying to break into entrepreneurship? Step outside of your comfort zone. Batshoun certainly did during his time at NKU. Who knows what the future has in store if you don’t take those chances? He credits his time at NKU for allowing him to gain experience in the multiple fields that interested him.

“You have to take risks to be in business. Never be afraid of failing,” Batshoun says.“Try new things, and if they don’t work out, learn from them and move along.”