Nathaniel Ru and his friends were in their final year at the Georgetown University in Washington DC when they were hit with the idea of Sweetgreen. They thought of the way they could provide a place where they could offer a healthy eating place within the University. After laboring for the first few years, Sweetgreen has managed to establish itself into a 21 store chain across the United States of America. They faced difficulty during the startup as the landlord would not listen to their idea. The landlord had a prior experience with these boys as she happened to be the landlord of the building that these boys lived in.
The three gentlemen could not be deterred by the landlord. To show their determination, they would call her at least once in a day for a whole month until she agreed to meet with them. For Nathaniel Ru, this would be the first day he wore a suit as well as the last one. During this meeting, they armed themselves with a business plan detailing their plan and a budget. The landlord advised these three gentlemen to look for an architect as well as some investors. She also advised them to prepare a real plan that would look appealing to investors. Nathaniel and his friends spent around three weeks looking for an architect and financial investors.
According to the head of marketing for Sweetgreen, the startup uses as marketing strategy similar to the one of Apple. First, the strategy allows the company to be social and at the same time smart and sexy. The strategy also focuses on been local. Despite having expanded to various cities, Sweetgreen has maintained its core values, and it continues to serve the community. Some of the core values of Sweetgreen include:
- Win, win and win. This means that everyone should benefit from the startup. This includes workers, customers and even the owners and the entire community.
- Every decision by Sweetgreen should consider the long term effects.
- The third core value of Sweetgreen is keeping it real. This means that everyone and everything associated with Sweetgreen should be authentic and original.
Over the years, Sweetgreen has managed to open branches in other cities across the United States. There are stores in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. The startup continues to offer healthy and fresh products to its customers. To ensure local participation, Sweetgreen acquires its product locally. Over the years, the company has held educational forums in different states to educate students on the need for healthy living.
Raj Fernando, founder and CEO of Scoutahead, began his professional career as a volunteer who worked his way up at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and later took positions at the Chicago Board of Trade. He earned a bachelor’s degree in both economics and history from Beloit College and also studied at the University College London.
In 2002, he created Chopper Trading and by the time he sold it, in 2015, he had grown it to 250 employees; many of whom were some of the world’s brightest and most brilliant traders and engineers. Chopper Trading was also traded on the biggest global exchanges including the CME, ICE, Eurex, LSE, and Nasdaq and was one of the largest market participants.
Bringing a decade of experience leading cyber security initiatives and a full twenty-five years of experience and expertise in the international financial markets, Fernando currently is a part of the Board of Directors for the American Security Project and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and serves on the Foreign Policy Leadership Committee at the Brookings Institute. It has been noted that he brings a substantial amount of insight and experience with him to all of the organizations and boards he serves as well as his own businesses. USMC retired Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, CEO of the American Security Project, recognized Fernando when he said,” Raj Fernando’s expertise in cyber security is a great asset to our national security.”
On top of his business pursuits, Fernando is a well-known philanthropist who has donated large sums of money to nonprofit organizations that have helped not only people, but also animals. One of his basic philosophies, as stated by Fernando himself, is that, “When we see a good charity, we like to help.” This isn’t an exaggeration as he has been known to help with cancer treatment and research, arts and education, the rebuilding efforts of earthquake victims in Haiti, the March of Dimes, the Whittier Dreams Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, and more. He also serves on the board of directors for PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter.
Raj Fernando is the man behind the success of Scoutahead. Before establishing Scoutahead, he was the chief executive officer and founder of Chopper Trading. Mr. Raj started his career at a tender age while still in college. He volunteered for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Upon graduating, he raised the bar from the lowest serving position to the very best and highest. Following his expertise, wide knowledge and several years of working at different trading positions at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, Mr. Fernando established Chopper Trading in 2002.
Within a period of over a decade, he expanded Chopper Trading to a large trading participant of the largest worldwide exchanges including Eurex, Nasdaq, CME, ICAP-Broketek and Fitzgerald-espeed among others. With more than 250 employees worldwide, Chopper Trading comprised many of the knowledgeable and brightest traders and engineers in the world. Regularly, Mr. Fernando made contributions to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission work. Here his main aim was to support the mission of the commission that is; to foster open, competitive, transparent and financially sound markets. In 2010, he gave a speech as one of the featured panelist on the disruptive trading practices that had been noted.
In addition, he regularly participated at policy and industry conferences across the nation. In 2013, Raj Fernando addressed a big international audience comprised of media and shareholders at Rosenblatt Global Exchange Leader Conference. This is one of the exclusive industry forum conferences held annually. In 2015, he sold Chopper Trading to DRW, one of the leading global leaders within the financial industry. A year later, he launched Scoutahead.com. Scoutahead.com is an internet startup designed to assist individuals and companies get trusted information that enables them increase productivity and corporate growth as well as productivity.
Withmore than two decades expertise and experience in international financial insight, Mr.Fernando offers exceptional insights and amazing counsel for his firms as well as organizations and boards he serves. Mr. Fernando holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history and economics from Beloit College. He also pursued further studies from University College London. In addition to leading several companies, Raj Fernando also serves several boards such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
More about Raj: http://www.rajfernando.com