Gursh Bal and Kai Fahrion | Top 40 Under 40

Top 40 Under 40 recipients Kai Fahrio and Gursh Bal

SAIT grads and 2019 Outstanding Young Alumni, Gursh Bal and Kai Fahrion share their thoughts on sustainability, the motivations towards a clean-energy future and what it means to be recognized by Avenue Magazine for their efforts to cultivate change.

Gursh Ball and Kai Fahrion Co-CEOs of ZENO Renewables and long-time friends have been on a mission to drive change for nearly a decade. Since the founding of their company in 2015, the pair have been motivated by a single goal — to create a world where sustainability is easy for everyone.

From humble beginnings, ZENO has grown into a leader in Alberta’s sustainability movement with their unique residential and commercial solar solutions. As of 2022 ZENO has provided more than 1,200 residential solar solutions across the province and is well on its way to achieve the company’s goal of more than 1M home installations by 2040. Because of their commitment to moving their communities forward and sparking change, Bal and Fahrion were recognized as members of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2022.

We spoke with the pair to discuss their journey and what this kind of recognition means.

What does recognition like this mean to you, both personally and professionally?

When we first started Zeno, we could not have imagined that we would win an award of this caliber. Our vision to reduce humanity’s impact on our planet was and has always been where our focus goes. To win this award verifies at both a personal and professional level that we have focused our energy on the right thing.

How does your work at ZENO contribute to the forward movement of Calgary and Alberta?

Every day, Zeno is installing solar panels, batteries or EV charging stations somewhere across the city. We are making Calgary more environmentally and financially stable with these solutions. What excites us about this movement towards sustainable energy is freedom. We believe that freedom is the core of what it means to be Albertan, and at a higher level, Canadian.

How does the push towards sustainability fit in with Alberta’s energy industry?

The push towards sustainability fits nicely into Alberta’s energy industry. We have an amazing infrastructure base, and very skilled citizens that are doing what Alberta did with oil and gas – make it the global standard that every other place around the world will copy.

The Top 40 Under 40 represents a measure of what the city of Calgary is right now. How do you see yourself in that capacity?

If one is to glance at the winners of this year’s award, what stands out above all else is diversity — diversity of both the industries and the people that have won. It is said that diversity is Canada’s greatest weakness while also being its greatest strength. As people, we all have differences, but what this award shows is that a place like Calgary has figured out how to make all these differences work together.

How do you see yourselves as a positive sign of what Calgary and Alberta can become?

We are not special by any means as individuals but as a team, we are undeniable. We believe that Zeno is a shining example of what can be achieved when good people come together to do good things. This is what makes Calgary so special and dear to our hearts.

What connection can you see that threads through your experiences at SAIT, starting ZENO and achieving this kind of recognition?

Many of the things that are done on this planet are done for a specific demographic. That demographic is children. Beyond just feeding and clothing a child, one of the most important things that has to be maintained is the child’s confidence. SAIT gave us confidence through education and further preserved that confidence by supporting us as we moved into the business world. This award does something similar and we are confident that we will reach our goal of providing one million homes with solar solutions by 2040!

Roll call!

View the list of SAIT graduates recognized in the Class of 2022 Top 40 Under 40