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He got a business loan from family, at 24 percent interest

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Ashwin Rao, left, is vice president, and Hiten Patel, is the founder and CEO of Collabera.
Ashwin Rao, left, is vice president, and Hiten Patel, is the founder and CEO of Collabera. - ()

When co-founder and Chairman Hiten Patel of Collabera decided to purchase the company more than 15 years ago, he didn't know exactly where to turn.

“At that time, I didn’t think banks would have given a loan to our company,” Patel said. “And I don’t know that the government would have had a grant for our kind of business.”

All that Patel knew was that in order to achieve success for his Morristown-based information technology staffing and solutions firm, he would need to step outside his comfort zone.

So, in 1997, Patel purchased the 6-year-old company — then known as Global Consulting Corporation — using loans from friends and family borrowed at a staggering 24 percent interest rate.

RELATED: After starting Collabera with his last dollar, Patel setting his sights on revenue milestone

“There was no other way I knew to raise the funds,” Patel said. “But if I did not put all of my life savings into this company … and did not borrow money at a 24 percent interest rate … I would have taken it easy and would have always had a way out.

“I wanted to make it so that I could not get out — because that’s the only way you make it.”

Looking back now, Patel is not even sure that if faced with the same scenario today, he would have purchased the company.

“I’ve since learned how to acquire a company,” Patel said. “And if I had all the knowledge that I have today, I would not have bought the company — it was red all over the place.

“But, sometimes, if you work hard and are passionate about what you’re doing, things turn around.”

Simply put, Patel turned his company from a $2 million company in 1997 into a $520 million company today because he had no other choice.


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