When most students start out as freshmen at Cal State Fullerton, they are essentially dealing with the stresses of transitioning from high school and balancing an active social life with new rigorous course work. But for one Mihaylo business student, launching a product and starting a business were the most important goals of his freshman year.
Nick Ajluni ‘15, CEO of NixFix Chasers, is currently a third-year business student studying operations management. The idea of creating a chaser started early his freshman year after joining the campus fraternity Phi Kappa Tau.
“I came up with the idea to mix a healthier concoction tailored to the needs of a drinker with some good flavor,” says Ajluni.
NixFix Chasers are a powdered beverage, similar to crystal light, designed to complement alcoholic beverages. Among other things, it offers exquisite flavor. It can also be used on its own for hydration and natural energy. The chasers are created with vitamins, minerals and specialty extracts.
“It’s also what isn’t in it,” says Ajluni. “Most of the drinks people use as chasers are high in sugar, which is extremely dehydrating.”
NixFix Chasers contains five grams of sugar. There are currently three flavors: strawberry watermelon, raspberry pomegranate and blue cola. Each pack of nine sells for $8.99.
“The fact that [NixFix Chasers] actually works has a huge importance,” says Peter Engfelt ’15, business finance major. “What can be learned very quickly in the business world is the only thing more important than the product itself is everything behind the scenes.”
Engfelt has been Ajluni’s roommate since their freshman year. He has been involved in countless brainstorming sessions and coming up with new business ideas.
It took Ajluni about a year and a half from business plan to the day the company was launched. He says it was a rigorous process that pressured him to get things right in a timely manner.
“I basically had to figure everything out on my own and I made about a million mistakes,” says Ajluni. “I was lucky to have my dad and some of his friends as a resource.”
He says starting this company took a lot of patience and time management. Since he is currently a student at Cal State Fullerton he has had to start this company while balancing a full class schedule and an active role in his fraternity.
Many people have helped support Ajluni in the launching of this product. He says his family members have played a big role in the start-up of the company by offering their advice and feedback. The brothers of his fraternity have also been very encouraging and helpful throughout this process. Ajluni wanted to thank his fraternity brothers: Engfelt, Troy Rupp, Casey Janes, Rory Ghallagher and Tony Montini for their role in marketing the product and for being involved in the business in general. Kyle Herbert, a current student at Arizona State University, has played a huge role as Ajluni’s business partner.
“Those are just a few names, but the entire chapter has played a huge role in getting NixFix Chasers to where it is now,” says Ajluni.
Ajluni started writing the business plans for his product his freshman year, but now that he is taking his upper division courses at Mihaylo, he is able to apply his growing knowledge of the business world to his own company.
“I am learning a lot and could have definitely applied some of this knowledge earlier on, but some classes are still helpful even this late in the game,” says Ajluni.
An operations management course with Professor Joe Formichelli helped Ajluni understand the cut-throat realities in the world of business. Formichelli was the IBM Corporation’s vice president of worldwide systems operations and brings more than 30 years of experience to the Mihaylo College classroom.
“The reason I’d like to thank him is because most people in his financial position would be hanging out on a yacht, and I respect the fact that he chooses to give back and come teach,” says Ajluni.
Ajluni’s current focus for the company is gaining more customer awareness and figuring out the best way to accommodate the college student demographic in the United States.
NixFix Chasers are currently being sold online and at multiple locations. For more information on the product and how to order the first chaser, visit their website.