HOUSTON — A Friendswood family that has helped build Houston roads, schools, and restaurants is breaking barriers for Latinos.
Indi Construction Partners is owned and operated by a Hispanic woman who is quickly gaining ground as one of the largest general contractors in the city.
Everywhere you turn in Houston, you’re likely to find something under construction. But there’s a unique story buried beneath a new road expansion project on El Dorado Drive in Friendswood.
Raquel Boujourne, a Hispanic woman, is the founder and CEO of Groupo Indi Construction. She oversees the operation and runs what has become the largest Latino construction company in the city.
“We’re eighth-generation Texans. The border crossed us. We didn’t cross the border,” Boujourne said.
Boujourne’s career started on a different stage. The former professional mariachi singer is quick to tell you, it was a long climb to the top. Her construction career got off the ground 15 years ago.
“There was like an ad for somebody that needed to dig a ditch. So, I called the number to come out, nobody answered. So, I just showed up. I was like, 'Hey, I'd love to give you an estimate on digging a ditch," Boujourne said. "You know, I figured I could pick up a shovel."
Fifteen years later. Her company has built everything from apartment complexes to bridges and even Waffle House restaurants. But Boujourne says her favorite job was restoring the University of Houston Bauer College of Business after it was damaged in Hurricane Harvey.
“It was pretty cool remediating the classrooms that I actually got instructed in,” Boujourne said.
But getting those contracts took a lot of work. Boujourne says competition is fierce, and as a woman in a male-dominated industry, she often has to prove herself.
“Nine times out of ten, we have to do an extensive explanation, kind of like our resume, before we even get to start talking about business,” Boujourne said.
Her scope of work speaks for itself. Indi has more than 35 offices in Mexico and over 500 employees. But its headquarters in Friendswood is where you’ll find her family at the table. They work there too.
Her mom, Elaine Gracia, is the company's vice president.
“To think that it would grow to a point where, you know, my husband would leave aviation and I leave everything that I was doing just to do this? Never,” Gracia said.
It wasn’t easy, but the former singer says she was built for this.
“One hundred percent. I always knew. I was determined. I got really comfortable with rejection, and I used that rejection as an opportunity,” Boujourne said.
Boujourne is not done creating opportunities for Latinos. While Houston will always be home, she says her goal is to become the largest contractor in the state and one day in the U.S.