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Meet Har Rai Khalsa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Har Rai Khalsa.

The story goes back to 2007 when MK Decision’s co-founders Guru Dharam and Har Rai Khalsa launched a retail finance company together. The company specialized in point-of-sale financing in malls across America for different commodities (e.g., electronics, automotive parts, jewelry, travel, etc.). By 2011, Guru Dharam and Har Rai had realized that the company’s paper-driven credit application process was neither scalable nor efficient. This pain point forced Guru Dharam and Har Rai to focus on building a solution: their first digital loan origination platform.

From 2011 to 2014, the finance company increased its efforts to streamline the lending platform by introducing digital signatures and a mobile app. With this technology infrastructure in place, the finance company successfully grew its web sales and transitioned from brick and mortar to a web-based business model.

Enter MK Decision. In 2016, Guru Dharam and Har Rai were presented with a unique opportunity to partner with a community bank with branches in New Jersey. The community bank asked Guru Dharam and Har Rai to create an automated credit decisioning platform similar to the one they created back in 2011. The bank also wanted the platform to integrate with their credit bureau Experian, and their core processor Fiserv. So, without having a business entity or product at the time, Guru Dharam and Har Rai decided to take the opportunity to found MK Decision and jump back onto the path of entrepreneurship that started in 2007.

After this first implementation, MK Decision caught the attention of Fiserv who referred a community bank in Orlando, Florida. The bank was looking to deliver an online shopping experience for credit cards to its customers. Through this partnership, MK successfully went to market with its first-ever Credit Card Origination System (CCOS). CCOS gave consumers the ability to browse, shop, and apply for different credit cards just like they’ve come to expect from the big banks. CCOS’ deployment has resulted in a multitude of opportunities to help financial institutions looking to grow in the thriving online lending market.

In 2019, MK is deploying CCOS to over 900 community bank websites through our partnerships with TCM Bank, ICBA Bancard, and Bankers’ Bank. In addition, MK is expanding the lending platform with our partner Time Investment Company to provide a seamless indirect loan process for its dealer network.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As a FinTech, one of the initial challenges is your financial runway. Building a technology company requires a lot of human capital. To flip the labor pool upside down, MK’s co-founder Guru Dharam started the Time for Experience (TFE) program in an effort to give aspiring software engineers, product designers, project managers, content writers, and digital marketers real-world training in a rapidly growing FinTech. The TFE program has thrived thanks to its notable partnerships with LEARN Academy (code boot camp) and PLATT College (design school).

Another challenge for an early stage FinTech is the extremely high barrier to entry when it comes to offering Software as a Service (SaaS) to financial institutions. After all, the finance industry is more highly regulated than the healthcare industry. Building partnerships and relationships for third-party validation takes time, consistency, and attention to detail at the highest levels of finance. Until your business has its first handful of references to call upon, it is nearly impossible to penetrate the market.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about MK Decision – what should we know?
First, MK Decision should be seen as more than just a loan origination system. We are on a mission to stimulate local borrowing and local lending. We truly believe that we can help local economies, and community financial institutions are a key part of that. We see community institutions as the backbone of our nation. Our goal is to help them capitalize on the rapidly growing online lending markets.

Second, MK Decision is known for producing best-in-class experiences for both borrowers and lenders. Our credit application process is highly tested and has been designed to provide the best borrower experience possible; while our lender-facing dashboard is easy to learn and highly efficient to use. Processes that used to take bankers days to complete, can now be done in a matter of seconds via automation.

Third, MK offers the only loan origination platform that focuses on the sales and marketing efforts of our partners. By optimizing the sales and marketing efforts of a financial institution, we ensure the success of their lending program. The incentive to grow loan volume is mutual. MK does this by deploying simple, beautiful borrower experiences that educate and inform borrowers on the loan options available to them. We believe an educated borrower is a confident borrower. Confident borrowers complete application processes.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The quality of MK’s company culture is built on Four Pillars that are most important to our success:

Open Your Mind. Think big. Embrace change. Challenge the status quo. At MK Decision, our competitive advantage is the bright minds of our team, thinking outside the box with a common goal.

Do The Right Thing. Treat everyone equally with respect and professionalism. At MK Decision, these values apply to our work product and environment; ensuring integrity in our products and dignity in our personnel.

Do Whatever It Takes. Daily life at MK Decision is built around going the extra mile to achieve greatness. No matter what it takes, we go above and beyond to exceed client expectations. Excellence is our way of life.

Win Together. In a society driven by competition, MK Decision takes a team approach to win. Together everyone achieves more.

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