Ms. Kusum Kavia, Co-Founder and President of Combustion Associates, Inc., selected 2020 Small Business Exporter of the Year

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County / Inland Empire District Office is pleased to announce Kusum Kavia, Co-Founder and President of Combustion Associates, Inc. (CAI), as the 2020 Small Business Exporter of the Year. Kavia was nominated by Mukund Kavia, Chairman and CEO of CAI. The business is in Corona, Calif.

CAI was cofounded by Kusum and Mukund Kavia in 1991. The company provides cutting edge engineering and advanced manufacturing solutions to the Energy and Process industries. CAI has two key product lines: Power Generation Systems, including their signature brand Spirit™, and Process Systems.

In the Power Division, CAI specializes in modular and stationery containerized power generation systems that operate continuously – 24/7, are cost effective and energy efficient.
In the Process Division, CAI provides skid-mounted automated process equipment for various industries and applications.

CAI is a power generating company with multifaceted specialties, and Kusum Kavia is behind the company’s successful ventures in exporting their products around the world. CAI generates 48% of its sales from exports. This did not come overnight, but through Kavia’s laser focused strategy. Kavia established export opportunities in numerous markets abroad, including Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Canada, and China.

As CAI’s entrepreneurial leader, Kavia established meaningful relationships with U.S. government agencies and various state agencies to leverage their program and services, including the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Small Business Administration. She has been able to tap into their programs to access to capital, government contracting, bonding, and government guarantees.

Kavia has become respected and well-known for her expertise on exporting, and she is often sought out to share her knowledge. She has consulted for the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), and she is frequently invited to be a keynote speaker at small business events. Currently, Kavia is a member of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s State Entrepreneurial Task Force.

Under Kavia’s leadership, CAI received the President’s “E” Award for Export Service in 2011, and the “E” Star Award for Exports in 2016. In 2014, President Obama praised Kavia’s leadership at the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit.

The SBA Orange County / Inland Empire District is honored to recognize Kusum Kavia as our Small Business Exporter of the Year.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and is a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses, and recover from disasters. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. To learn more about SBA, visit

About the Orange County / Inland Empire District Office
The Orange County / Inland Empire District Office, under the leadership and vision of J. Adalberto Quijada, District Director, is responsible for the delivery of SBA programs and services in the Southern California counties of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Located in Santa Ana near John Wayne Airport, the office and its staff facilitate understanding and access to SBA loan programs; coordinate and conduct hundreds of training sessions and special events annually such as matchmaking forums and loan workshops; and manage a portfolio of nearly 100 businesses enrolled in the agency’s 8(a) business development program.