Navin has the unique distinction of simultaneously being a successful business owner and a successful banker.
He guides a company that owns and operates three hotels plus a 20,000 square-foot shopping center. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Embassy National Bank, a community bank in suburban Atlanta that he helped establish in 2007 and that today is among the largest SBA lenders in the southeast.
Born in Ahmedabad, India and educated as a civil engineer in his native country, Navin emigrated to Chicago in 1971 and renewed his engineering education at Purdue University, earning a Master of Science degree in civil engineering in 1978.
Few immigrants at the time had a post-graduate degree from an American university, so Navin was eagerly sought by employers. He accepted a job with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), but he was an entrepreneur at heart.
“I love to build things, so while continuing my day job, I built several shopping centers as a way to generate additional income for our family,” says Navin, with enthusiasm and pride.
When Atlanta was chosen to host the 1996 Olympic Games, Navin saw a new revenue opportunity. He bought his first hotel, an independent property with 122 rooms, in 1995.
“I’m a people-person and enjoy dealing with the public, so I really liked the hotel business immediately,” he says.
He went on to buy his first branded hotel – a Hampton Inn – in 2002, then followed that with a second Hampton Inn in 2009. The company still owns and operates both properties.
Navin is a man of business, but he is also a family man. He and his wife, Taru, who is a pediatrician, are parents to three grown children. Their two daughters are doctors – Shefali is an oncologist and Pali is an ear, nose, and throat surgeon – while their son, Ravi, has both a medical degree and an MBA.
While Navin’s achievements are impressive, equally important is his passionate and uncompromising devotion to basic core values such as integrity, fairness, and personal responsibility. In today’s business world that is fast-paced, technology-based, and often impersonal, Navin’s bond are still his word and his handshake.