Today, we embark on a journey of the note worthy Indian alumni who have emerged from the corridors of Georgia Institute of Technology, each carving out path to success in their respective realms. These individuals have seized opportunities, and emerged as pioneers of change, casting a trail that inspires others. Among these, we shine a spotlight on Shyam Mehta, VP, Creaegis. An alumnus of Georgia Tech, Mehta has harnessed his education and experience to reshape the investment management industry. CEO Insights is honored to interview him.
Could you give a brief account about your journey so far?
I graduated in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology with Highest Honor. My journey spans strategy consulting in Atlanta, investment banking in New York, and an MBA from INSEAD. Over the last ten years, I have been in the investment management industry in Asia, and more recently with a focus on India.
Share with us your experience from Georgia Institute of Technology. What did you learn from the campus?
The academics were rigorous but instilled in me critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and resilience. Beyond the classroom, two experiences defined my journey. Through the CO-OP program, I interned at UPS, gaining first-hand insights into a Fortune 500 company's operations. Simultaneously, my involvement in the Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investment Committee was instrumental in developing my passion for investing. The student -led organization managed a million-dollar real-money portfolio. This hands-on experience set the foundation for my current career in investment management. Serving as the committee's director fuelled my interest in the field. Georgia Tech
Enduring businesses build great systems. They relentlessly drive progress innovation, improvement, & change. They stem from a timeless set of core values & purpose that is constant over time
Define Creaegis as an organization and its position in the market.
Creaegis is a technology-focused boutique investment fund. It is characterized by its transformative investment approach to build great institutions. Despite being a relatively new player, the firm boasts a stellar team with deep sector expertise. Creaegis invests in businesses at the forefront of industry change, that harness technology to revolutionize their operations, and uphold highest quality governance practices. For example, we recently led a funding round for Third Wave Coffee, an emerging and iconic brand in India.
In your role as VP, how do you approach leadership?
My leadership approach is a culmination of the best practices I've observed from mentors, managers, and peers across the globe. As someone whose job often involves evaluating leaders of other businesses, I strive to constantly improve my own leadership style.
First and foremost, I believe ensuring alignment of interests across team members is critical, fostering a collective focus on shared objectives. Secondly, identifying and defining collective parameters of success. By this I mean benchmarking yourself or your team against the best-in-class out there. As a leader it is my role to steer the team away from efforts that might be non-core, or even worst distractions disguised as progress. Lastly, cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship is vital, granting individuals the freedom and flexibility to unleash their best potential.
How do you assess investments for the company?
I look for businesses that stand the test of time. That’s because enduring businesses build great systems, they have a relentless drive for progress: innovation, improvement, and change. They
I oversee the consumer sector for the fund, that is focusing on investing in FMCG, Retail, and Consumer Technology Businesses. I assess potential investments using a three-fold framework. First, evaluating the staying power of a consumer brand. This involves assessing growth quality, consumer affinity, and positive unit economics. Second, I gauge the brand's technological strength by, analyzing how it leverages technology for efficiency and nonlinear growth. Finally, I assess sustainability through the environmental, social, governance, and cultural (ESG & C) framework, A company's culture proves surprisingly crucial for long-term success.
What is the future destination you are headed towards?
Passionate about investing and business development, I aspire to be a seasoned investor, skillfully navigating financial markets and making informed decisions. This approach is driven by my belief that investing is an art, an equal blend of calculated risk-taking and keen judgment. With each decision I make, I am committed to refining my skills, expanding my knowledge, and contributing to the success of entrepreneurs building remarkable businesses. The prospect of harnessing my expertise to foster innovation and shape the future of industries is a source of immense inspiration.
What advice would you like to impart to emerging leaders?
Emerging leaders should embrace the power of systems over goals. A well-structured daily routine provides the foundation for professional and personal growth. Establish a consistent routine and adhere to it small, daily improvements accumulate into significant gains over time.
Never lose your curiosity. Challenge the status quo, disrupt the norm, and constantly seek ways to enhance systems. Additionally, maintain tech-savviness. The world is evolving rapidly, and the pace of change is accelerating annually. Stay abreast of paradigm shifts like AI, machine learning, and emerging technologies. It's not just about keeping up; the more you understand disruptive technologies, the better positioned you'll be to leverage them for your company's growth.
Shyam Mehta, Vice President, Creaegis
To identify great consumer brand businesses to invest in, Shyam looks for companies that have strong product affinity, technology prowess, and robust sustainability frame works.