Smita Shah – A Business Woman Commited to her Indian Heritage and Chicago’s Business Community

Smita Shah, an Indian American from Chicago, always knew she was smart. Unlike the rest of her classmates, she would spend time in the back of the class making her English word problems into algebraic equations. As a young adult she found her calling in Electrical Engineering and continued with a Master’s degree from MIT in civil engineering. 

Shortly after graduating, she started her own company called Spaan Technology, a company dedicated to building government and city-backed projects. Now the CEO of this successful Chicago based firm, she shows the same drive as she did while in school. But Smita Shah doesn’t stop there, she also takes on community projects, charities and causes that interest her. She doesn’t put up with mediocrity and works hard to make sure she completes everything she takes on in the very best way possible. 

Smita Shah’s Community Interests

Besides her business interests, Smita Shah also works within the community of Chicago to promote diversity, find ways to uplift ethnic communities and promote ideas she finds interesting. One such project she chairs is the Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi luncheon. As the international representative and committee chair for Delhi, the Indian sister city of Chicago, she decided to establish this yearly luncheon to commemorate Indian businesses in Chicago and to promote ideas to the community of Chicago as a whole. 

This year at the Annual luncheon which commemorates the legacy Mahatma Gandhi left to humanity, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot proclaimed October second to be the official Mahatma Gandhi day in Chicago. The pronouncement is made to recognize the 150th year of his birth and acknowledges the deep peace legacy he left to all humanity and the importance he holds to the Chicago Indian community. Smita Shah was delighted with the outcome of the luncheon. 

Smita Shah reiterated in a recent interview, “It has been a pleasure working with the community of Chicago and it is wonderful that our efforts to bring together the different ethnic communities of the city is working. It was a real honor for the Indian American community here in the city to have this proclamation made. It was also a personal honor to have the work we have done for the Mahatma Gandhi luncheon recognized in this way.” The idea of the luncheon came about when Ms. Shah demonstrated how Chicago was made up of many communities, and mentioned that they should all be recognized for the work they do. This luncheon and program now recognizes Mahatma Gandhi as a great man, an inspiration to the Chicago Indian community and all of us. Learn more: https://shiakapos.com/long-before-stem-was-chic-there-was-smita-shah/

The strong relationship between Delhi, India and Chicago shows the commitment Chicago has with its Indian community and recognizes its cultural attributions to the city. Through young leadership roles like Smita Shahs, the Delhi committee has supported the luncheon since 2014 and will continue to do so as a way of honoring the similarities and differences between Americans and Indians, and the combined effort to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi.

Connect with Smita on LinkedIn

It All Began With College Kids For Billionaire Jimmy John Liautaud

Everyone has to begun somewhere. For one man, it all started with two things. The first was the idea of a really great sandwich. The second was the idea of selling to hungry college kids. People are now familiar with Jimmy John Liautaud.

His ubiquitous chain, Jimmy John’s, is very much a part of the American landscape. People all over America can head off to one of twenty-eight hundred Jimmy John’s for a bite to eat.

Read more: Jimmy John Liautaud: Jimmy John Owner, Founder, & Chairman | Jimmy John Liautaud

What has become a staple of American eating habits began when one man found it hard to buy equipment to make hot dogs. Jimmy John Liautaud knew he could make a success of his life. He started with a bit of capital and the determination to make it work.

The Right Audience

The right audience was crucial to his first success. He choose to open up a sandwich shop in an area next to lots of bars that served college kids from Eastern Illinois University. It was 1983 and he was all of nineteen. As it turned out, this was a remarkably good idea. His father provided him with a bit of seed capital.

In return, they agreed to split ownership and profits. He realized that college kids would appreciate well made sandwiches. At the time he hit on the idea of agreeing to deliver his sandwiches straight to their dorms for a quarter. It’s a process he’s kept up to this very day. Right now, anyone can order a Jimmy John’s sandwich as long as they pay a minor two dollar fee.

Working Hard

Rapidly realizing he had hit on a formula that worked, the young man devoted all of his spare time to his new venture. He put in eighteen hour days in order to meet demand. This hard work would pay off. He would also learn how to manage a business as it unfolded in front of him.

The devotion to responding to customers began to create good word of mouth and a ready and eager client base happy to pay for a sandwich delivered right to their dorm room by the owner.

Creating a Lasting Business

One of the hallmarks of his business expertise is the ability to respond to the needs of customers and manage employee needs at the same time. He was able to think in new ways about how to manage the demands of his clients. For instance, he asked employees to arrive in fifteen minute increments.

This helped with payroll and enabled him to meet his meager labor budget. It was the sort of insight that has helped enjoy such a success in the field of business.

Read: Start and Grow Your Business: Guest Speaker Jimmy John Liautaud

From a single shop, he began to expand into many new areas. Today, he’s one of the world’s richest men and widely admired for his hard work and his ability to understand what the customer wants. It all started with a dream, lots of hard work and the ability to see it through.

Learn more about Jimmy John Liautaud:

https://about.me/jimmyjohnliautaud

Maarten De Jeu Smart Investment And Diversification

For Fortune 100 companies, Maarten De Jeu is a highly recognized strategic advisor. He assists individual investors in attaining long and short-term investment goals by using investment opportunities in commercial real estate to their advantage. He teaches that it is extremely beneficial to use commercial real estate as a pillar of investment holdings. He also advises that becoming involved in real estate is now easier as the opportunity to invest in real estate has become more accessible for average investors. These hard asset investments are lucrative and in the past were only reserved for institutions or extremely wealthy investors. With increased access to projects in commercial real estate, individual investors can pool their investment efforts.

 

Maarten De Jeu realizes how broad the category is for commercial real estate investment in for-profit properties. These include office buildings, warehouses, industrial parks, multi-use complexes, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and retail spaces. The difference between commercial and residential properties is that residential properties are used solely as housing. Commercial properties, on the other hand, are typically a great deal larger and significantly more expensive to build, purchase and maintain than single-family homes. This is what prevented individual investors from taking advantage of commercial real estate investment opportunities. Recent changes in the laws that affect investment allow expanded access to the benefits of commercial real estate ownership equity. 

 

The 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS) was one of the largest changes in recent years. The act permitted businesses to use crowdfunding to attract individual investors who otherwise did not have sufficient enough capital to invest in a new business venture. This differs from crowdfunding’s donation model where individuals contribute to a cause without ownership or a return on their investment. At a minimum of $5,000, non-accredited investors can invest in commercial real estate that has been pre-selected. One option available to commercial real estate crowdfunding investors is the monthly collection of interest payments form a borrower’s secured loan payments. Either option allows the investor to reinvest gains from the initial investment into other invests that will allow tax advantages. Learn more: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150917/BLOGS03/150919840/bill-clinton-schmoozes-with-chicago-ceos-to-fundraise-for-hillary

 

Unlike traditional investments involving stocks and bonds, investment in commercial real estate is based on particular assets that do not involve selling the investment according to market fluctuations. As well, property investment is insulated from the factors that make stock market investing risky. There are also minimal associated investment fees. Securing mutual funds and a traditional investment portfolio requires a certified financial advisor whereas commercial real estate investment does not require the same level of management fees. Tracking and monitoring the performance of the individual real estate investor’s assets is highly efficient and cost-effective for them due to having online access.

 

It is wise for any investor to prioritize diversification in terms of investment strategies. There are diversification opportunities in commercial real estate that simply do not exist in traditional investments. An expected return form monthly rent reduces concerns about dips in the stock market as those changes do not affect the occupancy of a building or the amount of rent collected.

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The Rise of OSI Food Solutions Under Sheldon Lavin

OSI Group is a leading food company in the world. It has ongoing operations in over 17 countries with over 65 production facilities. The company has a rich history, given that it was started in the early 1900s. It has grown from a humble background but has finally become the pacesetter in matters of food production.

The current leadership of the company is led by Sheldon Lavin, the chairman and CEO. He is assisted by David McDonald, the president and COO. In the past few decades, these two leaders have put the company in the line of success by making sure that every decision that is being taken is for the benefit of the business and the consumer. A lot of efforts have gone towards building a great relationship with the consumers by giving them the products they need. Read this article at Forcepoint to know more.

Unlike other companies that dictate what the consumers get, OSI Food Solutions is all about determining and fulfilling the wishes of the consumer. In most of their production facilities, they’ve set up innovation centers that are run by highly qualified individuals to produce new products that the consumer needs.

Also, in most of their outlets, the role of managing food production operations has been left to the local managers who understand better the taste and preferences of the local people. This approach has seen OSI Food Solutions thrive where others have failed. For instance, they’ve had a great run in China by applying this approach.

Sheldon Lavin and David McDonald are leaving no stone unturned as they seek to find solutions that matter to the people. They’ve put together a team of employees that share their dreams. Currently, they’re focused on implementing sustainable production systems in all their outlets. The efforts have begun with the expansion of the OSI Food Solutions plant in Toledo, Spain. This plant will see a 20-percent reduction in energy consumption after the company implemented sustainable measures that see energy recycled.

Sheldon Lavin and OSI Food Solutions have received recognition for the achievements made so far. Sheldon received the 2016 Global Visionary Award for his commitment to building OSI Food from a humble beginning to now that it is a multinational. OSI Food Solution, on the other hand, has been a recipient of multiple awards from different organizations.

See more: https://www.kimeta.de/stellenangebote-osi

 

Oren Frank’s Quest To Change Views on Mental Health

Oren Frank is the CEO and co-founder of Talkspace, which is the number one online and mobile psychotherapy company. The app is very convenient to those who are looking to improve their mental health. Talkspace has helped over a million users find connections to licensed therapists. The company was founded with his wife in 2012, after going through couples therapy. Oren and his wife, Roni, launched the company after experiencing benefits and believed that everyone deserves access to affordable and convenient psychotherapy. Their vision was “Therapy for all“.

Talkspace has raised over $100 million in financing since being founded. With the new capital, the company has two new targets. They want to leverage its machine learning and AI capabilities, along with accelerating the growth of its commercial business. Talkspace has now partnered up with Optum. This is a pharmacy care service group and benefit manager.

Oren Frank wrote an article called “Mental health and wellness aren’t the same“. The business man notes how several companies and departments tend to believe that mental health and wellness are the same thing. Frank believes that the two should not be seen as the same thing because that makes mental health seem like less of a health problem, which is why the two terms “wellness” and “mental health” should stay separated. With how big of a crisis mental illness is around the world, not putting an emphasis on mental health on its own pushes people to not find proper and professional treatment.

Before becoming successful with Talkspace, Oren Frank mainly worked in fields such as communications, advertising, and marketing. He even had a stint writing articles for Huffington Posts. Oren Frank wrote various articles such as technology, politics, social media, and mental health. One of his articles show that he is also a supporter for U.S Senator Kamala Harris, during her presidential campaign for the 2020 election. Read: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/talkspace-hires-a-chief-medical-officer-ahead-of-potential-ipo.html

GPB Global Resources B.V. and the East African Search for Petroleum

GPB Global Resources B.V. is a privately held and global group of companies involved in oil exploration and production projects. The company is based in the Netherlands with oil and mining projects in South America, the Middle East, and Africa.

The business is part of Russia’s state-owned Gazprombank Group. In 2014, GPB Global Resources B.V. invested $60 million in the search for petroleum in areas of northeastern Ethiopia. They also won a production sharing agreement that allowed for seven years of oil exploration and approximately twenty-five years of production.

Exploration involved surveying and drilling test wells in the Afar area that is a section of East Africa’s Rift Valley. GPB Global Resources B.V. is optimistic about these areas as there are numerous discoveries in the Rift Valley to Yemen, which has vast amounts of oil resources in its territory.

The company states that while Ethiopia has natural gas reserves in the East region, no gas or oil has been produced in the area. There are discoveries of oil in Uganda and Kenya that GPB Global Resources B.V. is developing for commercial production.

There are Chinese based companies also exploring the region for gas and oil. A representative for the company mentioned that if the oil or gas discover is not large enough to purchase and build a major pipeline to export the petroleum, it might force the local production business to pay the bill.

GPB Global Resources B.V. was founded in 2011 by Boris Ivanov. Boris is also the managing director of the company. His successful career includes work as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, and as vice president at Unibest Bank from 1993 to 2000. He studied at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations where he majored in international relations. He graduated with a master’s degree with honors.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gpb-global-resources-b.v.

Sheldon Lavin Has Helped His Company Grow And Get Awarded

Sheldon Lavin has put a lot of work into OSI and making it as sustainable as possible and his company has received awards for his efforts. It was given the Globe of Honour award for is great management of environmental risks. The award was only given to seventeen other organizations in 2016 and it was a special thing for OSI to receive it. The company also received the North American Meat Institute award for the innovative way that it has dealt with lowering its environmental impact. It received this award in 2018. Another award that it was received was the Global Visionary Award, which it was given in 2016 because of the hard work that Sheldon Lavin had put into the company and making all of his goals come to be. Learn More about Lavin at angel.co.

Sheldon Lavin started working for OSI, which was then known as Otto & Sons, in the 1970s. He was an investment consultant at that time but in the mid-1970s, he was asked to become a partner of the company. He pushed the company hard in his first few years with it and expanded it to open a new facility outside of the Chicago area, where it is based, and then outside of the country.

Sheldon Lavin helped OSI to become well-known around the globe. It served McDonald’s and was doing well with that partnership but he wanted more opportunities for growth beyond what it could do with the fast-food company. Sheldon Lavin has helped it to grow so much that it has become one of the largest food producers in the world and was rated as number 58 on the list of largest private companies that had sales of $6.1 billion in 2016. OSI has become involved in many joint ventures and is active in countries such as Mexico and Austria.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_Group

The Success of Smita Shah

It’s not always easy to be the owner of your own company especially when you’re only 24 but Smita Shah has been able to have massive success with her business throughout the years. With so many people curious about how she managed to make it in such a competitive field typically dominated by men, she recently went on a radio show to discuss how she was able to rise to the top so quickly and how she deals with the responsibility of running her own company. As a freshman at Northwestern University, she quickly realized engineering was the field she wanted to go into and declared it as her major. From there, she quickly began performing well in her classes and subsequently graduated at the top of her class in the spring of 1994. 

After her college career came to a close, she decided to continue her education at MIT where she went on to earn a master’s of science in civil and environmental engineering. During this time, she was also chosen to participate in an internship program working for the office of the white house chief of staff in DC and she finished her thesis on the impact of culture on public-private partnerships. After receiving her degree, she went on to work for SOM in November of 1996 as a structural engineer. She remained in this role for about a year before realizing she had all the knowledge and resources she needed to become the founder and CEO of Spaan Tech. 

First opened in 1998, the company was created to build new toll roads, superhighways and suspension bridges to help commuters get to their desired destination. They also install lighting in various places throughout the country such as airport runways, emergency call boxes and sometimes even spotlights. When she was first getting used to running the company, she didn’t do too much to ensure it had a future because she wasn’t sure whether it would make it that far but, now that she knows it can withstand the test of time, she is adamant about ensuring the success of the company for countless decades to come. She knew that if things ended up going south, she could always sell it and then continue her career at a different company. Learn more: https://shiakapos.com/long-before-stem-was-chic-there-was-smita-shah/

However, if this new venture proved to be stable, she would be able to demonstrate how successful women can be in a field that is predominantly male. She was thrilled to learn recently that the number of women in the student population at MIT is now up to 47%, almost equal to the number of men. Over the years, she has dealt with people who come to the office only to mistake her for an intern as opposed to the head honcho but she mentioned that she never takes it personally. However, she does currently advocate for all female employees and encouraged them to be assertive to ensure that they receive fair and equal treatment from their bosses.

Connect with Smita on LinkedIn

Philanthropist Niranjan Shah gives to Sen. Hillary 2016 Presidential Campaign

As time draws near to the 2016 election, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has positioned herself to be the next democratic nominee. In order to kickoff the start of Senator Clinton’s potential candidacy, there is a high dollar fundraiser being held with a lot of political giants and donors. Some of these donors have been a part of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012. The event dubbed “Ready for Hillary,” is scheduled to be held in state of Illinois Sen. Dick Durban, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are the guests that will be scheduled to headline the prestigious event on June 5th, to be held at to be held at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush, a steakhouse by the Magnificent Mile.

As the event approaches, this marks a very pivotal time as Clinton begins to gain support as a member of Barack Obama’s cabinet. There are many prominent figures that will be associated with the event that comes at a price tag at $1000 per person. A lot of staff members from Obama’s political party are helping to push the event. Some of these staffers include Kevin Conlon, a top Chicago-based political strategist and Obama fundraiser; Wendy Abrams, a leading environmental activist; Lou and Susan Manilow, prominent arts philanthropists and Democratic donors; and, Niranjan Shah, a Democratic donor who runs an architectural firm. Shah is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Globetrotters Engineering Corporation. His corporation is responsible for helping clients discover who is your strongest connection to your target people or organizations.

While this event has already mad history, a lot of supporters for the Ready for Hillary’s fundraiser are excited to be apart of this event and help to support her on her journey as she embarks on becoming the first female president.

Find out more here https://www.manta.com/c/mmjtgws/globetrotters-engineering-corporation

How Fortress Investment Group Will Help Investors

Fortress Investment Group (FIG) uses an open-end asset fund to provide its clients access to private credit. Private credit can be negotiated by parties involved and can be issued in the form of bonds and loans. FIG would facilitate an open-end fund. An open-end fund is a mutual fund to provide as many shares without restrictions. An open-end fund can be helpful to investors and allow a large variety of investors a low barrier of entry for investments. The fund is valued by net asset value (NAV). The NAV of a fund is calculated after daily trading and is influenced by the assets held within the fund. Find out more about of Fortress Investment Group at therealdeal.com

Fortress Investment Group understands the operation cost of an open-end fund is low. The low operation fee helps the fund function smoothly. The open-end fund does not have good liquidity compared to other investments. The poor liquidity of the fund is due in part to the open-fund is not traded on an exchange. Investors do not have to use a significant amount of money to make an investment in an open-end fund. Many investment firms like Fortress Investment Group are offering an open-end fund to show confidence. Fortress Investment Group also opening its’ primary fund to new investors.

Fortress Investment Group is an asset management firm that controls $40 billion in assets. The company was acquired by a company called SoftBank Group (SBG) for over $3 billion in 2017. FIG’s business model is one of the reasons SBG chose to acquire the company. The acquisition still allowed them to function under the leadership of Pete Briger, Wes Edens, and Randy Nardone. The leaders must be able to work with projects that allows them to make decisions without any influence by a company such as SBG. FIG also gained access to markets led by SBG. Related: https://gazetteday.com/2019/01/fortress-investment-group-2018/