Growing Business With BlueVine: Essel Environmental

For Nik Lahiri of Essel Environmental, entrepreneurship is a family thing.

The firm, which provides environmental consulting services to real estate developers and investors, was originally founded by Lahiri’s mother, Dr. Samhita Lahiri. An accomplished engineer from India with entrepreneurial ambitions, Dr. Samhita Lahiri was the first of her kind. “In a time when women business owners were rare—especially in the engineering field—she started her own firm so that she had control over her own future,” Lahiri says. “Growing up in and around the business—I always wanted to continue the entrepreneurial tradition and build on what my mom had started.”

What the Business Needed

Funds to Scale

In early 2018 Lahiri faced a conundrum. One of his biggest clients had promised to pay their invoice within the deadline they had set months in advance. As a result, Lahiri had “ramped up to their capacity.” But as the deadline grew closer, the client admitted that they wouldn’t be able to pay the invoice on time. Confounded, Lahiri decided to reach out to BlueVine. “We were in a situation where we had a pretty significant payroll due within 48 hours,” Lahiri said. “We had 35 people working 14 hours, six days a week who wanted their per diem check upfront. Just in hotel expenses we were spending $8,000 to $10,000 a week.”  

How BlueVine Helped

Money to Take On More Projects

BlueVine’s streamlined factoring process was there to help catch Lahiri when he needed it most. Shortly after reaching out to Lahiri’s BlueVine account manager, Lahiri received the funds within 24 hours. “Within four to six hours, BlueVine had already profiled the client and it ended up working out,” Lahiri said. The quick funds allowed Lahiri to capitalize on the opportunity without taking on more expenses. “Had we not had BlueVine in our corner, I would not have pushed to get as big of a team as possible and expand our services.”

Assisted with Vendor Management

BlueVine’s invoice factoring services, which allowed Essel Environmental to get cash advances on unpaid invoices, has allowed the company  to expand their services. Since partnering with BlueVine in 2016, factoring has also enabled them to manage and build stronger relationships with their primary vendors. “A lot of what we do is vendor dependent,” Lahiri said. “Having invoices paid off in advance allows us to pay off our vendors on time.”

Expand into New Markets

With BlueVine factoring, Essel Environmental will always have an option to recuperate their costs and capitalize on bigger and better opportunities to expand their business into new areas. “Knowing the BlueVine platform is in place allows us to be a lot more optimistic as business owners to expand into markets where we know we need to enter but we’re afraid to,” Lahiri admits. “Because we’re now playing with the big boys.”

About Growing Business With BlueVine

Our clients grow with us. They use BlueVine financing to address everyday funding needs and to pursue opportunities to take their business to the next level. This series aims to highlight the stories of small and medium-sized businesses that have grown and continue to grow with BlueVine.

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This article was first published on August 15, 2018. It was updated on

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The information, opinions, and advice in this blog post are provided for educational purposes only, and do not necessarily state or reflect those of BlueVine and/or its partners, including The Bancorp Bank and Celtic Bank. Neither BlueVine nor its partners are responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s). For information about BlueVine products and services, please visit the BlueVine FAQ page.