Attempting to start a business not long after getting an undergraduate degree may be difficult for some, but for alumnus Eric Khorshad, this seemingly intricate task came more rapidly than expected.
Khorshad started his undergraduate career at Baruch College in fall 2008 and graduated in spring 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in real estate development and a minor in business communications.
He worked in real estate all throughout his college years. The majority of his education at Baruch was geared to solely studying business, which coincided with the work that he was involved with at the time.
“My whole education was so business-oriented because it wasn’t just focused on real estate or in finance,” he said.
“It was an incorporation of accounting, management, and primarily what drove me to this business—entrepreneurship.”
Predominantly through his entrepreneurial studies, Khorshad was inclined to broaden his horizons and open his mind to alternative facets of becoming a businessman beyond the real estate sector.
With this mind shift, he decided to partner up with two of his affiliates and open up a pizza store known as Pizza King located on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 34th Street.
After doing hours of research on how to open up a pizza store, negotiating a contract with the owner, buying the place and getting the wheels in motion, Khorshad mentioned that he combined two particular ideas to get Pizza King running.
“It’s very interesting. We figured that is it great to have the idea of the $1 pizza store in Manhattan, but we don’t want to short people in what we can offer them,” he said.
“We want to offer them gourmet and all the other things that come with a generic pizzeria. Our idea was to fuse these two concepts in the sense of having gourmet food and keeping low costs for our customers.”
However, the creation and development of this new business did not come without challenges and complications.
Beyond the considerable time and effort needed to get a partnership together, open a store and keep it running rather smoothly, Khorshad admitted that this work absorbed all the extra time that he had initially dedicated for studies in law school.
On top of this, he encountered problems once his business was finally up and running.
“We had a very big issue with one of the employees that was stealing from us and being very dishonest. He turned away a lot of the customers because of the way that he was behaving,” Khorshad said.
“This was a big problem because it cut into the business but it also created an issue between the owners and the manager to figure out how to get rid of him, how to handle it and how to deal with it. But you learn a lot from these experiences and it makes you aware as to what you should expect going forward,” he continued.
Looking beyond the initial setbacks, Pizza King opened on April 28.
Upon reopening what was once already a pizza shop, the partners decided to keep the shop running the same way as it used to run before they changed certain aspects of the business.
After about a month and a half, the partners implemented their own strategies by extending the store hours, altering the prices and making changes to the once-existing menu.
Khorshad mentioned that through his education at Baruch, he gained the knowledge that he needed to foster a successful career.
“So many different factors of running this business go back to all of the classes that I took at Baruch. Things that I learned that have to do with finance, accounting and mostly management helped me as businessman to deal with employees,” he said.
All of the money that Pizza King has made since opening has been allocated and sustained into paying the expenses of the business and paying off the initial investment.
By tying the knowledge he attained at Baruch into his business-savvy expertise, Khorshad mentioned that “in the process of not giving up, do not discount things along the way of reaching your goals. There are a lot of opportunities.”
Though Khorshad is determined to reach his ultimate goal of completing law school and applying the knowledge he gets there to his degree in real estate development, he is cognizant of the minor hurdles that are inevitable to come his way but still stays positive.
“Keep your eyes open and really seize opportunities as they come along, no matter how small or big they may be,” Khorshad confidently concluded.