Westmont Magazine A Developing Business
As a Westmont student, Demetri Argyropoulos ’00 knew what he wanted to do after graduation: help businesses grow. The challenge of designing business infrastructure to maximize success intrigued him. Now the president and CEO of Prima Consulting Group, he seeks to assist a host of businesses worldwide.
Majoring in business at Westmont gave Demetri a solid foundation of knowledge for his enterprise. He also studied international business at the American University in Washington, D.C., at Georgetown University’s American Government and Foreign Policy program, and at the International Business Institute’s Europe program.
As his business sense grew, he realized he needed to develop fundamental relationships with potential consultants to make his idea work. This proved to be the most difficult part of founding Prima. To give his clients as much help as possible, he wanted to create a network of professionals in the field who could offer expertise and advice and participate as needed.
“This is where I literally had to put my nose to the grindstone and hit the pavement,” he recalls. “I spoke/pitched Prima to everyone within earshot.”
Meanwhile, Demetri took advantage of his business training and provided consulting services for high-tech start ups. This activity served a two-fold purpose: It reassured him he was in a field he loved, and it showed him what he still needed to learn.
“Slowly but surely, the preaching paid off and the first adviser/consultant joined what would become an extensive list,” Demetri recounts. His roster of consultants includes more than 30 people in a variety of fields. One of them is David Newton, professor of entrepreneurial finance at Westmont.
Demetri enjoys working with companies such as Ericcson and Nokia. He is expanding Prima’s services to include technical development and public relations as well. A big surprise is the amount of time he spends maintaining relationships with the consultants and keeping them up-to-date with current projects. He feels fortunate that these advisers are so capable.
“Talented people do commendable work,” he notes. “With satisfied clients our client list grew.” Also on staff at Prima are Westmont alums Alex Gayl ’01, who works as a a research analyst, and Lilian Lawrence ’02, the office manager.
Demetri is quick to acknowledge Westmont’s impact on him as a person as well as a business leader. He learned how to integrate his Christian faith into various aspects of his life through the examples set by the faculty and staff. He was challenged by his coursework at Westmont that not only inspired him to dream of a project like Prima, but gave him the skills to make his dream a reality. He will always remember the faith-based community that Westmont represents.
“I will forever be indebted to Westmont for all the gifts it has bestowed upon me,” he says.