Birthplace/hometown: Birkur, India
Family: wife, Shilpa; children, Lakshmi, 8; and Soham, 3
Education: bachelor’s and master’s in chemistry from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi, India; master’s in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago
Years with company: 8
Getting here: “For a long time, I was interested in science and the environment,” said Narla, who came to the United States when the University of Illinois offered a full-tuition scholarship and an assistantship. Narla worked as a project engineer with Professional Services Industries and SET Environmental before starting Golars.
Transitional moment: In 2011, Golars landed a large project portfolio in six states. “Though we were small, we completed all the projects in a timely fashion. It was a major accomplishment for a company our size and launched the rapid growth of the company.”
Major achievements: By 2016, Golars had contributed over a half million dollars to various charitable organizations that support communities. “My work in protecting the Earth and our environment is more than a business to me,” Narla said. “It reflects my sense of duty to serve others.”
Recent challenge faced: “We had spent considerable time and resources on technology that integrates systems to help run the company, which has streamlined all our operations.” In addition, he said, “By looking at the existing challenges in Indiana, we invested heavily into a strategy for marketing through customer relationships, project management and finances to help grow the company vertically and horizontally across the country.”
Site specifics: Narla not only built his company by cleaning up site contamination, he also invested in problematic properties. “I’ll offer the market price,” he said, “and then take care of cleanup. So we got into real estate and management of property. We created service lines based on needs.”
Givebacks: Narla is a board member for Hindu Temple of Central Indiana and volunteers at the North United Methodist Church’s soup kitchen and with Kids Against Hunger. He’s on the White River Alliance StormWater Action Team, which includes all 60 Golars employees.
Downtime: Fishing in his backyard with his kids.•
Check out more 2018 Forty Under 40 honorees.