Ankit Duggal ’10 MBA is not only an entrepreneur and successful business owner, but he is also an actively involved alumnus of Montclair State. Recently, he took some time out of his busy schedule to come back to campus for a visit and to share his story.
Duggal founded his own real estate company, RER LLC, at age twenty-four while attending Montclair State for his master’s degree in Business Administration. His experience and expertise in the field made him a perfect candidate for an advisory board created for the Real Estate program in the Department of Finance and Economics to help create new, “real-world” based curriculum. “It’s an academic and private board designed to develop out the real estate program”, explains Duggal. “It’s finance and real estate, versus just finance. It’s important to teach the soft skills and the hard skills.”
As a graduate student at Montclair State, Duggal says he was not very involved, due to time constraints with owning his own business. But now he wants to give back and is highly involved with the university. In addition to his post on the advisory council, he also comes back to speak to classes and regularly attends networking events on and off campus.
When asked about his involvement with the School of Business, Duggal explains that he never actually had any classes with Dr. Zaman Zamanian, who appointed him to the board. “I met him through a friend, and it was a great opportunity to give back. I had an enjoyable experience in all my classes. The School of Business has very smart professors and I love what they are doing in terms of leadership. Dean Chrite, Dr. Mezziani, and the professors have good and solid ideas that they can bring from the practical world into the classroom.” Dr. Mezziani is a professor in the School of Business that Duggal still works closely with. “He taught a very enjoyable class, and it’s nice to now be able to work with him.”
Duggal also makes it a point to stay up-to-date on the happenings and advancements with the School of Business. “I saw that they will soon be offering a weekend MBA program and that students are making it to the top four of competitions – that’s great.” He is also impressed by the newly granted Center for Entrepreneurship, the addition of a trading floor, an investment club, and the school’s move to the Overlook building near campus noting, “there has to be growth potential” and that there are “smart students, but without opportunities like these, they would not have that potential.”
When asked about his experience at Montclair State, Duggal notes that “the best part about it was literally taking what I learned here and implementing it for my own business. When you can combine solid academics with the practical side of the program, that’s a winning combination.”
Duggal also has some words of wisdom for current students in the program. “Network! Network with fellow classmates, and the alumni base. That’s really important, so take advantage of the student/alumni events offered.” When asked to offer some advice to anyone starting their own business, he adds, “Network and pitch. And take action. There’s always going to be this fear of the unknown, but you just have to pivot over and over again, figure it out, and move forward. If you have to take three steps forward and one step back, at least you’re two steps ahead.”