Hult Alumni Entrepreneurs

Discover the inspiration, challenges and advice from Hult entrepreneurs across industries and nations. If you know of a company founded by a Hult alumni that would like to be featured, let us know at alumniaffairs(at)hult.edu

Alumni Entrepreneurs

  • Mohammed Kasargod, 2011 MIB

    Wild Tree Nuts & Snacks, United Arab Emirates

    Wild Tree Nuts & Snacks LLC (U.A.E.) is a manufacturer and distributor of snack-foods, supplying branded and private label prod¬ucts for minibars and bars in 5-star hotels.

    “Some of the challenges we face include:

    Maintaining highly stringent quality control systems and complying with HACCP regulations,
    Sourcing packing materials from the international market,
    Competition from established players.

    Our USP highlights include:

    Customized packaging and labeling solutions,
    Freshly roasted products as per order basis including customized ingredients.

    Our future plans include: Expansion to Qatar by 2018"

  • Christian Handl, 2006 MBA

    Handl Tyrol, Austria

    Handl Tyrol (Austria) is the leading specialist in smoked and air-dried Tyrolean ham and raw salami.

  • Divyan Gupta, 2009 MBA

    Keshiha Services, India

    Keshiha Services (India) is an e-commerce company that launched India’s first curated e-commerce brands:

    Art and Decors – First affordable luxury retail brand in India focusing on authentic paintings, world-class décor products and designer jewellery

    Gizmofashion – Retail brand focusing on consumer electronic accessories and gadgets

    “My vision for Keshiha Services is quite expansive. E-commerce is the first part of that vision. Apart from e-commerce, the company also offers consultancy in the following fields: Social Media Marketing; Innovation Management; Outsourcing/Offshoring. Our e-commerce brands, Art and Decors and Gizmofashion came about from personal experiences. The idea for Art and Decors was born in 2010 while we were shifting our home in Delhi. I realized that even in a cosmopolitan city like Delhi, finding genuine art and décor products that were value-for-money was very tough. Products were either too expensive or not worthy enough. After some extensive research and field trials we launched Art and Decors in late 2012. In a very short time we have been able to build a very differentiated offering – almost 80% of our catalogue is not available either online or offline in India. We have several industry-leading features like India’s first e-commerce loyalty rewards program, India’s first wedding & gift registry and our blockbuster patent-pending ArtView™ showcase that lets customers try the wall on their own walls before buying. In 2013, Art and Decors was recognized as being amongst the top 8% of all start-ups in India by NASSCOM under its grand 10,000 Startups Program. We currently ship to more than 200 countries across the globe.

    The birth of our second brand Gizmofashion also coincided with that of Art and Decors. That also grew out of a personal challenge – we couldn’t get an extra controller for our Xbox and that drove us nuts thinking how crazy was this in a city like Delhi! It’s not like it wasn’t available. Just it was in extremely short supply and that too at limited retailers. And suddenly it dawned on us the magnitude of the problem – there was no retailer in India focusing on consumer electronic accessories. We launched Gizmofashion a month after Art and Decors and are now retailing more than 30 global brands across a wide-variety of product categories including some exclusively. It has been a great time for us till now. Very hectic and full of learnings. We are India’s first zero inventory e-commerce company and are completely bootstrapped. 2014 is a crucial year for us as we target to break into a higher revenue orbit and look at building on our 2 member team – again a unique feature for a company of our size and complexity.

    Our plans are simple yet bold – we want to establish both the brands as leaders within their respective categories by 2017. That’s no mean feat when the industry is full of players who have equity funding of millions of dollars. Yet we are confident that we will hit our goals.

  • Aimin Cao, 2011 MBA

    Shanghai Qingyou Trade Co, China

    Since the company was established in 2009, it has focused on importing food products such as cakes, biscuits, and toffees from the U.A.E., olive oil from Greece, UHT milk from Germany, and snacks from Denmark and Spain.

    “I decided to start an imported food trading company for the following reasons:

    China’s economy and people’s income levels have been growing in recent years. Many companies from other countries want to enter this market
    The Chinese currency is strengthening so imported products are becoming more affordable for Chinese people
    Due to food safety issues in China over recent years, Chinese consumers are losing confidence in domestic products
    Food products are fast moving consumer goods which can generate cash quicker than other products
    The entry barrier is low with no complicated technology involved and the products imported are ready to sell

    Challenges I have encountered:

    Many new products are pouring into the Chinese market. The competition is becoming tougher.
    More and more small local companies are entering this industry
    Suppliers’ expectations are rising. We need to increase sales every year.

    Highlights of my venture: It is important to ensure my imported products are targeted at normal people and not the high-end consumer category. Over the past years, we have set up a distribution channel across the country. We have more than 50 sub-distributors based in many regions of China so when new products arrive, it is easy to penetrate local markets.

    Future plans: As my company is familiar with the Chinese market, we can bring the new products more quickly and effectively to local markets. Chinese business concepts and operations differ from those in the West, so we can provide consulting services to foreign companies looking to enter China. We can also partner with foreign companies looking to develop their business in China.

    My time at Hult helped me to connect with classmates from many different countries. It is easy for me to get product information from them and discover their country’s business practices.
    The knowledge I gained at Hult made me more confident when competing in the business environment.
    Compared to other business people, I have a clearer mind and a more strategic approach which are important when running a company.
    The elective courses offered to alumni help me to refresh my knowledge and give me the chance to connect with more students from other countries.”

  • Alessandro Apicella, 2010 MBA

    Specitaly, Italy

    Specitaly (Italy) works with small producers of made-in-Italy and Apulian food and beverage delicacies to innovate their production and marketing processes and help them enter international markets.

    “Specitaly (Italy) is a newly launched brand of Omnia Service GmbH which was founded in 2012 by myself and my business partner Gianluca. Having travelled extensively around the world for many years, we noticed that there is still an uncapped demand for made-in-Italy and Apulian food and beverage delicacies. Since we both come from Apulia, one of the finest Italian food producing regions, we decided to give it a try.

    The idea is to leverage our experience and know-how to reach specific agreements with several small producers. In this way, we can help them to innovate their production and marketing processes and enter the international market arena, which would have otherwise been impossible for them to penetrate. We offer a wide range of high-quality food and beverage delicacies, ranging from vegetables in oil (tomatoes, artichokes, zucchini, eggplants, etc.) to aged cheeses (with truffle and pear etc.), fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh pasta, sausage, olive oil, wine, and much more. One of the main challenges is to fill the information gap that exists between producers and food market compliance measures. You need to strictly follow the rules of each market you decide to enter and, believe me, the challenges are huge.

    It requires a great deal of acumen to pick the right market in which to invest, before you really understand if you made a good choice. An example would be if you are actually able to ship fresh mozzarella in 24 hours from your warehouse to the Russian Federation you would realize you are doing a pretty good job. Last but not the least we aim to combine all this with our vast experience in both warehouse management and shipping management, which is really helpful. In our efforts to establish our brand internationally, we decided to start exporting to selected grocery stores and wholesale distributors around the world, targeting the medium to high segment of the market.”

  • Arpit Agrawal, 2012 MIB

    Vishal Group, Nepal

    Vishal Group (Nepal) is one of the most prominent business houses in Nepal with an annual turnover of USD1 billion and 80 years of expertise applied in a wide variety of sectors, such as iron and steel, manufacturing, life insurance, banking, FMCG, and business verticals such as hydropower, agriculture, cement, education, etc.

    “Vishal Group is one of the leading business houses in Nepal with a turnover of USD $1 billion annually. It is strengthening its footsteps with every passing moment. 80 years of expertise is efficiently applied which is reflected in each and every sector the company is involved in, including iron and steel manufacturing, life insurance, banking, FMCG distribution, and many more. In addition to this, the group has started concentrating in business verticals such as hydropower, agriculture, cement, education etc.

    The Group has achieved new heights in the last five decades; its strategic vision combined with the business expertise of the management has established Vishal Group as one of the top names of the country today. As a major company it has made significant contribution to the overall economic development of the country. The outstanding success of Vishal Group has been recognized by the Government and various agencies and been honored by various awards and recognitions.

    Apart from looking at expanding VG’s presence by focusing on ideas for maximum business value across all verticals of the group, I’m looking after the distribution vertical, focused on helping Vishal Group become the FMCG powerhouse of Nepal. Vishal Group’s vision is to build better lives by positively impacting its community through successful business enterprise conducted with fairness and honesty.

    In the future, Vishal Group wants to continue to transform and to grow its presence globally. Since inception, the group realized that we cannot have a healthy and growing business unless the communities we serve are healthy and sustainable. Our investment priorities in Nepal focus on the pillars where Vishal Group can make a unique and sustainable difference: active healthy living, alternate waste recycling, education, and most importantly, constantly supporting deserving charity events in both urban and rural areas.”