MK Decision Founder Q&A
MK Decisions’S Har Rai KHALSA Q&A
As The Venture Center prepares for the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0, we’re looking back at the men and women who made the first ThinkTECH Accelerator so successful. Har Rai Khalsa, CEO & Founder of MK Decision, is one of those entrepreneurs who made the most of the experience, and MK Decision continues to find success in the market. Check out his story below, and if you know a startup that’s offering solutions for community banks, send them our way – they can apply for the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0 until September 30 at venturecenter.co/icbathinktech. Maybe they will be the next MK Decision!
1. Describe the most exciting minute of your entrepreneurial journey so far.
While it’s almost impossible to single out a ‘most exciting minute’ during our entrepreneurial journey, there is one that stands out. It was August 17, 2018 and MK Decision had just launched our Credit Card Origination System (CCOS) to market with Axiom Bank, a community bank in Orlando, Florida. The excitement in MK’s offices were at an all-time high.
As the clock struck 11:55 am, Brett Myers the VP of Credit at Tampa based TCM Bank, submitted the ‘Contact Us’ form on our website. At 11:56 am, I was already on the phone introducing myself. Brett, who was not accustomed to immediate service, responded, “I only filled out the form 60 seconds ago. I wasn’t expecting a response so quickly!”
Fast forward to a year later, MK Decision and TCM Bank have formed a partnership to bring MK’s CCOS to over 800 community banks across the United States. One of the things I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is: when opportunity knocks, open the door quickly. Your first impression could be your last.
2. What entrepreneurial hacks have you developed to stay focused and productive in your day-to-day?
MK Decision has created a culture of reciprocal accountability. Every morning, we hold short, stand-up meetings with our teams where we share our progress on projects, goals for the day, and any achievements. In addition, we discuss the challenges we might be facing in regard to our work. From senior management to interns, daily meetings keep us on-track and accountable as part of a team. Senior managers are held to a high standard of production, which is infectious for the rest of the team. This bond reinforces a team mentality that merges quality control and timely delivery, ensuring all parties involved are moving in the same direction.
3. What systems have you set up in your business to help it grow?
As a growing FinTech in the business of creating digital lending products, we believe in building the foundation to establish meaningful relationships through effective communication standards. For example, we are always available for our clients before, during and after implementation. At any point of the day, we’re ready to answer their questions. Additionally, this requires our front-end and back-end development teams to always be on the same page. We launched our Project Management Dashboard two years ago to plan, organize, and track our team’s efforts and projects. Team members have transparency into the tasks and project timelines they are working on, ensuring client requirements are delivered on schedule.
4. What’s the best business idea you have that you will never use?
“Couple Up.” It’s an idea for a couples dating app that I came up with 3-4 years ago. One of the challenges of being in a monogamous relationship or being married is that your single friends have different interests. The goal of the app would be for like-minded couples to find each other online and enjoy double dates together. The app could be monetized by helping couples connect with each other, make reservations at restaurants or movie theatres, and “Couple Up.”
5. When you're not working, what do you like to do? (hobbies, interests, etc.)
I’m always plugged in to the business even when I’m enjoying my downtime. One of my favorite activities is hiking, especially in the desert or forest. I think it’s good for us all to get exercise and some fresh air daily! It really helps me reset from the hustle and bustle of the city. If time doesn’t permit a nice long hike, then I’ll go out for a long walk.
Also, I was raised in a yogic community, so I practice yoga and meditation daily to keep my mind sharp, body relaxed, and spirit uplifted. My yogic and meditative practice is something I enjoy sharing with our colleagues in financial services. It’s part of my mission to have a calming effect on the people I work with.
To learn more about MK Decision, visit mkdecision.com/