Making Business A Family Affair
Sumeet Maheshwari left his native India to study business at Purdue in 2008. At that time, neither he nor his father expected Sumeet to return to Mumbai after graduation to work in the father’s business.
But times change…and so do people. Sumeet’s growth in his knowledge and ability to network so impressed his father that he offered him a position at Samurai Securities, a small, privately held stockbroking firm.
“Originally, my father told me there was no way he was going to have me work for his company,” says Sumeet, who will earn his bachelor’s degree in May. “I wasn’t very outgoing, and I didn’t have the personality traits that you need to succeed in the business.
“But every summer he would grill me when I got back from school and ask me how my thought processes had changed. I learned how to interact with people from all parts of the world and how to build a network. Eventually, my father told me I was exactly the type of person his company needs.”
Sumeet credits faculty members such as MIS Professor Kemal Altinkemer, who gave students coveted high-fives following correct answers in class, and Economic Professor Julian Romero, who spent extra time after class to explain difficult concepts.
“The professors are so approachable. I think you get the kind of individual attention and family atmosphere at Purdue that you don’t get at other schools,” Sumeet says. He also says the Krannert Executive Forum, a class that brings executives from a wide range of companies and backgrounds to the West Lafayette campus each week, was a big help in building networking skills.
Sumeet was active as a Purdue student, taking part in activities ranging from the Purdue Innovators Club to the Purdue Cricket League. He’s involved in Future Lies in Our Youth, a student-oriented non-profit organization that aims to curb the number of student suicides in India. He also had several internships, including one at PricewaterhouseCoopers that he considers transformational in his growth at Purdue.
Sumeet says he dreams of taking over his father’s business someday, and he’s excited about the booming business opportunities available in India. He’ll always keep a fond spot in his heart for his alma mater.
“When I told people I was going to Purdue, their reaction was ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’” he says. “It’s hard to believe how these four years have flown by. I’ve built a network that will last a lifetime.”