Manoeuvring the reins of a mortgage space disruptor

Scaling a valuable tech innovator at an accelerated pace presents a significant challenge

Manoeuvring the reins of a mortgage space disruptor

As part of the pioneering Capital Lending Centre, later rebranded into Pineapple, co-founder and chief executive officer Shubha Dasgupta (pictured) believes that the mere presence of a tech disruptor brings with it a unique set of challenges.

“The most challenging has been scaling Pineapple at a very rapid pace,” Dasgupta told Canadian Mortgage Professional.

This stemmed from “ensuring that our infrastructure and resources were able to handle the growth and that we did not allow that growth to impact our service levels,” Dasgupta added. “We always ask ourselves about purpose and intent, and having a clear insight into these areas for all aspects of our business. When you understand the goal, you can work back to create the roadmap.”

Innovation, which has served Pineapple exceptionally well so far, continues to be the firm’s bread and butter.

“From five years ago when we started Pineapple (formerly Capital Lending Centre), we have continued to innovate and drive change while becoming a very rapidly growing brand with almost 600 agents represented across 17 different brands,” Dasgupta said. “From a scale perspective, we specifically focused around automation and technology to ensure that we could scale and grow [despite facing] challenges and adversity along the way.”

The Pineapple executive said that he has considerable input on how these advances are developed and marketed, considering his specialties in sales, marketing, and automation.

“I always practice my craft and I always continue to learn. I take every opportunity to learn by listening and observing everything that happens around me. I do my best to visualize these learnings into possible solutions and practice them over and over until I have optimized and achieved the expected results from each,” Dasgupta explained.

Dasgupta admits that all of this came as a surprise to him, considering that he always used to tell people one thing: “When you were six years old and someone asked you what you dream of being when you grow up, the answer is never ‘mortgage broker’.”

“It wasn’t for me, either,” Dasgupta said. “I wanted to be a doctor to help people, but I realized that there are many paths that would enable me to help others. That’s what brought me here over 13 years ago.”

“I started my career at Mortgage Centre, and staying with the same office flipped our brand to DLC a few years in,” he added. “There, I grew to become among the top brokers in Canada, but I yearned for more. I wanted to make a larger impact on this industry and help drive positive change and a more digital experience.”

Dasgupta said that being the helmsman of a mortgage industry disruptor adheres to this spirit of aid.

“It started with a goal of helping people. When you think back in life, you realize that many of life’s greatest moments started at home – and I wanted to be a part of ensuring that dream was possible for all Canadians,” he said.

“My goal is to help other brokers, owners, and Canadians have simplified experience, while driving positive change for all involved,” Dasgupta added. “People first, everything else second. By putting people at the forefront of everything we do, it enables stronger and more meaningful connections while fulfilling our goals in a deeper way.”

This ethos paid significant dividends for Pineapple.

“I’m very proud of the number of people that we have successfully employed while building a culture of trust, mutual respect, and camaraderie. Our teams bring a positive outlook each and every day, taking very seriously the work we do,” Dasgupta said. “I am also very proud of the work our teams are doing to advance the digital landscape of our industry. Driving innovation is a key component to our goals, but ensuring we do so in a way that creates meaningful change has been special.”

For those who are looking to dip their toes into the mortgage space, Dasgupta advises the one thing he has learned in his long tenure in the industry: patience.

“Look at the first few years of your career as a paid internship. Don’t be afraid to try things; succeed and fail, but be patient with yourself. There is no such thing as an overnight success and everything comes to those who wait,” Dasgupta said. “Remember that patience is not about waiting, but the attitude and work you put in while waiting.”