Member Spotlight: Raj Patel


Entrepreneur

B.S. Economics from University of California at Davis

MBA in Finance and Management from Pepperdine University


About Raj

Being raised in California, in my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, and rather be playing sports than watching them. I like spicy food and my favorite cuisines are Thai, Indian and Mexican. If I had more than 24 hours in a day, I would take flying lessons and acquire a pilot license.

I value and appreciate our culture and like visiting India often. Eventually, I want to travel to every country and continue to learn more about other cultures too.


Career

After graduating business school, Raj started working at Merrill Lynch in New Jersey and explored various opportunities including Investment Banking. Shortly thereafter he realized he would be happiest as an entrepreneur. Subsequently, he launched a Hotel Development and Management Company.


Why entrepreneurship?

Having been exposed to the hospitality industry early on, Raj gained an understanding of the possible risks and rewards associated with entrepreneurship. Realizing the value of tangible assets combined with the excitement of building something of his own, it became a “no brainer” for Raj to focus on a start-up venture. Recently, he has invested in two hotels in the Midwest and has plans to expand further next year!


Tips for future college students

Major or concentration in college does not always correlate with your career or job title. Instead, being growth-oriented is critical because learning never stops. For example, Raj's majors from college were associated with economics and finance, not hospitality.


Future goals

Raj hopes to maintain consistent growth, build a winning team, and diversify to mitigate risk locally as well as abroad in emerging markets. Some other areas of his interest are new technology, computer science, pharmaceuticals, and psychology.


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