Narin Charan - Founder and CEO of Capital Alliance

Keep learning and striving to improve the value of what you can offer to the world. Evolve or die. It’s your choice.

Narin Charan is the founder and CEO of Capital Alliance, a tech-enabled private lender focused on serving small business.

After 10 years of service as CEO, Narin carries the same passion and enthusiasm for his work as the early days starting the company out of a 150 square feet office in Orange County, California. To date, Capital Alliance has deployed over $500 million to thousands of small businesses across the United States. Narin proudly proclaims that Capital Alliance was built from the same drive and passion that fuels their clients, and that they have not let success sway their values.

Where did the idea for Capital Alliance come from?

The Capital Alliance journey began in 2008 during “The Great Recession” to solve a major problem that small businesses were facing: access to capital. Since then, we have been on a mission to evolve outdated lending models and provide simpler, more efficient ways for small businesses to obtain funding.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My day begins with a 4 mile uphill run with my wife to enjoy the sunrise. A good run provides mental clarity which often leads to wonderful discussions about life, our children, or whatever ideas happen to be on our minds. The rest of my day typically involves meetings, supporting my team, or overseeing current projects. We are constantly striving to improve the company so we are always juggling multiple projects. Having weekly and daily goals helps me tremendously with productivity.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I typically come up with the vision. My team then helps me refine that vision and translate it into an execution plan. I have an amazing team that turns dreams into reality. I am truly fortunate to have a supportive team that enables me to free flow and create ideas.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The data science revolution is very exciting. It is going to be interesting to see how big data will shape not only lending, but the world in general.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am obsessed. If there is a problem to be solved, it dominates my thoughts until I find a viable solution. If there is a goal to be attained, it is very difficult for me to rest until I crush that goal.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I tried really hard to enjoy being a student. Despite completing university, I could never get myself to be fully engaged and motivated with academics. I couldn’t wait to finish school and begin work in the real world. I learned where I really belong and it was not in a classroom.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I have shown a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. This has led to poor planning and execution that resulted in very expensive mistakes. My mistakes and failures have been my greatest teachers. If I were to start again, my experience would allow for well thought out, cleaner execution.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Keep learning and striving to improve the value of what you can offer to the world. Evolve or die. It’s your choice.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Learning to let go and let my leaders run the show. I have trusted them with great responsibility and although there have been mistakes, the long-term competencies gained in the process are priceless.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Scaling the business too fast on an improper foundation. We learned the hard way the importance of having a sound leadership base when expanding the company. We also learned the importance of culture and character fit when hiring, in addition to competence and experience.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I don’t have a specific idea to offer, but I see that public education is due for disruption. The education system has struggled to evolve at the same pace as the rest of the world. Better utilization of technology and gamification allows for a more engaging and thus more effective learning experience.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I spent $100 for food and drinks at a happy hour recently. Everyone had a wonderful time and had great conversation so I suppose it was money well spent.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Capital Alliance’s own proprietary loan decisioning platform allows us to efficiently and cost-effectively assess loan applicants and have funds deployed into their accounts within 24 hours of approval.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Start With Why“by Simon Sinek. I enjoyed Sinek’s Ted Talk and hearing his thoughts on assimilating Millennials into the workforce. Start With Why presents Sinek’s Golden Circle model which will shift your perspective on what it really means to align yourself and your team with your core purpose and values.

Key Learnings

  • Keep learning and striving to improve the value of what you can offer to the world. Evolve or die. It’s your choice.
  • I have shown a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. This has led to poor planning and execution that resulted in very expensive mistakes. My mistakes and failures have been my greatest teachers. If I were to start again, my experience would allow for well thought out, cleaner execution.
  • We learned the hard way the importance of having a sound leadership base when expanding the company. We also learned the importance of culture and character fit when hiring, in addition to competence and experience.

Connect:

https://www.capitalalliance.com
Capital Alliance on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/capitalnow/
Capital Alliance on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/capital-alliance-corporation
Capital Alliance on Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/capital-alliance-group-santa-ana
Capital Alliance on Twitter: https://twitter.com/capalliance