When the Princeton entrepreneurial advisory committee wanted to start their fund, which they would bank on to drive entrepreneurship at the University, they turned to one of their most prominent alumni Peter Briger. Having attended Princeton and graduated in 1986, he understood the value of having an alumni entrepreneurs fund or AEF.
Peter Briger has been a strong advocate of entrepreneurship as a way of growing oneself as well as society in general. His commitment to entrepreneurship has been a part of him since he was a partner at Goldman Sachs and Princeton’s request was a real honor. Together with two others, they would contribute the initial amount that would be used to finance the project. The Princeton entrepreneurship advisory committee would then identify a set of independent judges who would assess the proposals submitted with a request for financing and then identify the strengths and weakens of which and at the end come up with those that deserved funding. Each project would receive at least one hundred thousand dollars coupled with advice from some of the most experienced entrepreneurs in that field. Peter Briger has also been one of those offering his time to advise younger entrepreneurs. Despite his busy schedule, he understands that at times it takes more than financing an idea, but also entails quality guidance and a steady hand to guide you. Peter Briger has been very vocal in praising the initiative, noting that it’s time for the disruption of how business is conducted as well as the existing business models. He understands the value of innovation as he has also relied on the same to grow his own career. At fortress investment group he has been instrumental in the innovation of new products that better meet today’s needs. It was one of the main reasons that despite being a partner at Goldman Sachs fortress still insisted on him joining their management team. He was tasked with establishing the credit business at Fortress. This has been one of his specialties since Goldman where he was head of distressed debt. His knowledge of the Asian market has also been impressive given the number of years he has worked on committees focused on the market. A Force of Innovation: Two Decades of Fortress Investment Group
Susan McGalla is a perfect example of someone who has worked her way out to achieve top-notch positions in some of the biggest corporations in America. She is known to be an expert at marketing strategies and branding and that’s one of the reasons that she assists other firms as a retail consultant. Even though she is a perfect example of a perfect success story for women, not everyone has been able to achieve what she did and she contributes a lack of support in the community as one of the reasons for this. She wants more encouragement for women for higher management roles as there is only a quarter of top positions that are held by women. She mentions that there is no scarcity of resources to cater to the available demand.
Between 1994 and 2009, she worked with American Eagle Outfitters where she held many management positions and it was under her leadership that the organization grew in revenue from being a million dollar company to a billion dollar company. She firmly believes that if she could do it, anyone else could certainly surpass her. Only thing that is lacking is the involvement and support that could open up many avenues for success. She was even hired by companies like Wet Seal to bring out a transformation in their brands and she was quite successful in doing that. She stresses on how there is so much potential in the female workforce and how many companies who have diversity in workforce are able to outperform others who do not.
Vijay Eswaran, founder and executive chairman of QI Group of companies, is not only known for the success he has achieved as a businessman, but also for his thought-provoking books and articles that he has written in the past few years. Vijay Eswaran in one of the articles wrote about how the leader should be caring and affectionate towards the employees and the colleagues as it is how he or she would earn their respect and commitment for the organization. As, for example, Vijay Eswaran talked about how leaders like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and others never feared to compromise and to sacrifice for the benefit of their subjects and the larger purpose.
Vijay Eswaran said that the employees who work in a company are important as it is what builds the company, and not the amount of money in the bank. Without the dedicated effort of the organization’s employees, the company would fail to move ahead and succeed. The leader should be caring and respectful to the employees and must plan incentives and programs that would promote their personal growth and improve their living standards, socially and economically. Vijay Eswaran also said that it is important for the leader to be clear about the vision of the future. Without clarity in where the company is heading or what it is aiming to achieve in the future, plan of action cannot be devised. Vijay Eswaran has written several books on leadership and motivation in the past few years that has helped people understand the true purpose of their lives and follow their heart to achieve their life goals.
Vijay Eswaran also said that an organization should core values that it should be identified with, and it is the job of the leader to define these core values. The core values of the company should not be compromised under any circumstances as it is what helps in its lasting success. The trust of the people can also be achieved only if the company sticks by its values, even during rough times. Vijay Eswaran has been comfortable in a 9 to 5 job as he was not able to challenge himself. He believes that having a bucket list is good, but it should not define what one does with their life. It is essential that people embark on a new adventure once in a while so that they can create a legacy for their future generation.