University of Southern California

A Flour Sifter Changed My Life
February 8, 2013 • by Sean Bandawat

How does a life get changed? For me, it was by writing my capstone project for The Business Plan 454, at USC Marshall's Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Most of my classmates' projects were start-ups. But I was more attracted to being entrepreneurial with a company which already had customers, a reputation, and products, but its business wasn't being executed correctly.

I found one. Virtually every aspect of the Jacob Bromwell Company was wrong. From pricing strategies to marketing message to how products were manufactured to distribution channels. This venerable company – the oldest kitchen wares manufacturing company in North America, founded in 1819 – was on the verge of going out of business. And they made a great flour sifter. Even if I had never used a flour sifter in my life.

But one thing I had learned at Marshall: the more problems a company has, the more opportunities there are for an entrepreneur to come in, change the corporate structure, and make it attractive. And that's what has happened. After I graduated, I was able to put together a group of investors and acquire Jacob Bromwell. Two years later, we've completely reinvented the company, and our customers nationwide and in Japan and Australia are thrilled.

Every day as an entrepreneur you're thrown obstacles. You start of with a plan in your head and a vision and you have to weave your way through those obstacles. You can't deter too much from your original vision, but you have to listen to the market. That's how we've done it and found success.

And it all started at Marshall. I credit whatever success I've had to my time at Marshall. USC is the place where I discovered my unique strengths and weaknesses, passions, and life philosophy. It's the place where I met, interacted, and learned from some of the best and brightest people in the world, people I still keep in close touch with. And it's the place where some of my most unforgettable memories are set.

That's why I give back to Marshall. Please join me in giving to the school so that future generations of Trojans can get even better opportunities than I had. Your support will change lives. And you won't need a flour sifter to do it.

Fight On!
Sean Bandawat
USC Marshall School of Business, Class of 2010