Believing Though Others May Not
Creativity can lead people on paths that others rarely consider, according to Albert Bateh. “I have always preferred the less conventional approach to solving problems,” he said.
With his knack for novel ideas, Mr. Bateh created a marketable personal grooming accessory while still a sophomore in The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University. Today, he owns a company that produces and sells the item—EZ–Net, which easily removes tangled hair from a brush. “It was born of necessity,” said Mr. Bateh, who earned his degree in Management in 2016. “I used to spend a good deal of time cleaning the bristles of my hairbrush.” Inspiration hit: he developed a mesh sleeve to slip over the brush before using it. Removing the net took the hair with it.
Mr. Bateh received a patent and formed a limited liability company. In his senior year at St. John’s, his marketing strategy won the $5,000 first prize in the Tobin College’s James W. and Eileen Christmas Business Plan Competition. The Tobin College also sponsored his trip to California State University, Chico, where he won $1,000 in a similar competition. Opportunities like those, said the Brooklyn, NY, native—and the Tobin College’s reputation—made St. John’s an ideal choice for a business education.
Today, sales for EZ–Net are growing vigorously, and Mr. Bateh is working to diversify and extend his product line. He also gained additional experience as a financial advisor at the New York Life Insurance Company and his family’s 102-year-old textiles company. “One of the most important lessons I learned in business,” he remarked, “is to believe in your idea even when others do not.”