Sunil Narayan

Sunil Narayan is a strategic problem-solver with a passion for people development and organizational efficiency and effectiveness. In his role at Urbane, he works with client and project teams to ensure a seamless experience from engagement inception through final product delivery. 

Adept at navigating organizational complexities, Sunil drives results through a balanced qualitative and quantitative approach, fostering innovation and a culture of excellence. He has a diversified career in empowering organizations organizations and individuals make an impact, whether in corporate human resources at a Fortune 200 company, a global nonprofit, or K-12 education. Sunil enjoys delighting clients and employing his critical thinking skills to add value to a wide ranging group of projects spanning from healthy retail, to market and feasibility studies to nuanced research that aligns with Urbane’s core mission and values.

Most recently, Sunil worked at General Mills, providing Generalist support to various client groups in a continuous manufacturing environment. Prior to his time in Corporate HR, he spent nearly a decade in the Education and Nonprofit sectors losing his hair while trying to inspire temperamental teenagers. He grew up in the beautiful state of West Virginia, with pit stops in New Hampshire, NYC, Atlanta, and Minneapolis, before relocating to Miami. When not writing short bio’s in 3rd person, he enjoys southern comfort food and running to work off the aforementioned, cheering on the Maize & Blue and Mountaineers, spending time with his friends & family, and exploring the world with his partner.

Sunil holds a BA in Mathematics from New York University and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

The Urbane Q&A… with Sunil Narayan

Q.  Why Urbane?

A.  Beyond the fact that the work Urbane does positively impacts underserved communities throughout the US, every project we undertake is a new challenge that allows me to draw upon a diverse set of experiences and skill sets. I have not spent a single day being “bored at work”! Urbane – and our clients – dream big and reimagine a multitude of possibilities within the world of community and economic development. Yet we move beyond the world of idealism and execute and implement. It’s this mix of possibilities, of thinking big and the pragmatism of being solution-oriented, that draws me in and keeps me motivated.

Q.  Sunil– where do you see opportunities that were missed in the corporate space, that we can take advantage of in our space?

A.  Urbane is uniquely situated as a small enterprise firmly attuned to the needs of underserved communities, which allows it to nimbly adapt and address a multitude of challenges that larger corporate or nonprofit entities may overlook or be ill-equipped to handle. Yet by the same measure, our Collaborative structure allows us to partner with subject matter experts and like-minded firms to tackle projects at scale, giving us the look and feel of a much larger entity. I think this provides a competitive advantage and allows us to pursue projects that are both niche and “mainstream” simultaneously. It also allows us to seek out work and projects that expands the playing field. Personally, I look forward to finding ways to incorporate and address the needs of marginalized LGBT communities – be they homeless youth or trans women of color – within both our existing projects and future work streams

Q.  What‘s it like being Desi (South Asian) from West Virginia?

A.  When I was younger, I viewed growing up Indian in West Virginia as a curse. A few decades on, I view it as a blessing. I’ve learned to reconcile the South Asian and Appalachian influences, realizing that both are important to me, and I can be both – and many other hyphenated identities – simultaneously without conflict. I inherently understand what its liking growing up marked by difference. This context, and other later life experiences, allow me to connect the dots between rural and urban; black, white and brown; privileged and disenfranchised; gay and straight; Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Jewish. I respect individual differences, but my life has trained me to find commonality and points of intersection. I don’t think I’d have it any other way.