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JGU appoints Shailendra Raj Mehta as University Professor

Inside JGU

January 2024

JGU appoints Shailendra Raj Mehta as University Professor

JGU appointed Professor (Dr.) Shailendra Raj Mehta as the O.P. Jindal Distinguished University Professor. This is the first time in the history of JGU that it has made the appointment of a University Professor recognising the extraordinary contributions of a world-renowned scholar, researcher, teacher, and institution builder. While he is not associated with any particular school, his work and contributions will be of great interest to the students and faculty of many schools of JGU.

Professor Mehta is a polymath and his work spans across multiple disciplines and indeed multiple worlds. He comes to JGU with a vast experience of working in some of the world’s leading institutions. His academic qualifications are truly outstanding and reflect his global reputation and standing. His research contributions are stellar, some of which are pioneering and transformative. 

Professor Mehta will take up his appointment at JGU in the Fall of 2024 and will provide leadership and mentorship on teaching, research and institution building at JGU. Professor Mehta will be teaching several interdisciplinary courses, including one course specifically for the Jindal Global Business School. He will serve as a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Higher Education Research & Capacity Building.

Professor Mehta received his academic qualifications from some of the leading universities in the world. His BA and MA are from Delhi University (St. Stephen’s College and Delhi School of Economics, respectively), his M.Phil. is from Balliol College, University of Oxford, and his Ph.D. is from the Economics Department at Harvard University.

Professor Mehta has authored or co-authored proposals that brought over multiple million dollars of research funding to Purdue University from the National Science Foundation, the 21st Century Fund, Microsoft, Intel, and others. He has been on over 25 doctoral dissertation committees. He is also an award-winning teacher, successfully teaching undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students. He has been on over two dozen doctoral committees. He has been awarded one of Purdue University’s highest awards, the Class of 1922 Award for Teaching, Innovation, and Helping Students Learn. He received the Rector’s Prize, Delhi University’s highest honour, and was an INLAKS Scholar at Oxford University.

Professor Mehta is currently the President and Director of MICA and a Distinguished Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where he completes a seven-year term on May 31, 2024, after which he joins JGU. His prior appointments were as Chairman of the Board of Management at Auro University, where he was Acting Vice Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of Strategy, and as Provost/Vice Chancellor of Ahmedabad University. He returned to India in 2006/7 to head the collaboration between Duke CE (Duke University’s Corporate Education Arm) and IIM-Ahmedabad as Regional Managing Director for India, West Asia, and the Middle East and as Visiting Professor of Business Policy at IIM-Ahmedabad. Before that, he was at Purdue University for 16 years, where he taught Economics and Strategic Management. For six years, he led Purdue’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, as part of which he organised the flagship Entrepreneurial Competition and, in the process, worked with over 200 teams of students on their business plans, several of whom went on to get venture funding. The programme he set up was rated among the top programmes in the world.

Professor Mehta is stepping down from administration to focus full-time on research at JGU, with some time devoted to creating new, globally unique, and cutting-edge courses. His primary focus will be bringing his decade-long research in a book that details the origin and development of the university form in India between 600 BC and 1200 AD and its global impact via transmission to Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe (via Jerusalem), where it influenced the founding of European Universities including Oxford and Paris.

Over the years, Professor Mehta has consulted with and taught senior executives worldwide, including executives from North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia (including CEOs in Pakistan). The companies that he has worked with include Bharat Petroleum, Black Management Forum of South Africa, Eli Lilly, Genpact, Honeywell, IBM, Infosys, Lockheed Martin, Medtronic, Microsoft, P&G, Price Waterhouse Coopers, State Bank of India, and Tata Group, among others. He has conducted long-range scenario planning, envisioning, and simulation exercises with numerous government and industry executives. At IIM-Ahmedabad, he continues to teach one of the few courses anywhere on Strategy Execution and the Art and Science of Creating High Performance. His experience as the head of the collaboration between Duke University’s Corporate Education arm (Duke CE) and IIM-Ahmedabad gave him a ringside view of the strategic challenges faced by the senior leadership of some of the largest corporations in India and the world. Working with their senior leadership at the board level, he actively designed and developed executive education interventions that developed their key people.

According to a paper by Sahoo, Singh, Mishra, and Sankaran (2015) from IIM-Bangalore and XIM-Bhubaneshwar, in terms of global impact, Professor Mehta is rated as one of the top researchers in the field of Strategy in India.

Professor Mehta has extensively researched Entrepreneurship, Industrial Organisation, Information Economics, and Experimental Economics. His research was the subject of a full-length review by the Economist. His work on creating world-class universities has been discussed worldwide and profiled in over 10 languages, including Chinese, Russian, French, German, and Arabic. He has a new book coming out, Global Governance Futures: Digital Transformation and Democratic Reform, Routledge Publishers, USA (Taylor and Francis Group), jointly edited with Preeti Shroff, Jagdish Sheth, and John Garrison.

Over the last 10 years, Professor Mehta has served on the boards of three publicly listed companies. In each case, he has helped to deepen and broaden the conversations around the formulation and implementation of the strategy.

Professor Mehta has been a member of several high-powered committees the Government of India convened. He has conducted several programmes for senior civil servants, including IRS, IFS, and IAS officers, including one for all the Secretaries to the Government of India. He is currently serving as Vice-Chairman of the Governing Council of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He sits on many Committees of the Government of India.

Professor Mehta has co-founded two hi-tech start-ups while being a full-time professor and academic leader. The first one, Simulex, was set up in the US in 1999 to develop one of the largest gaming and simulation platforms for social, political, and economic modeling for major global corporations and the US government. That company was successfully sold some years later. After his return to India, he co-founded another high-tech Financial Services start-up, S-Ancial, which is now scaling up and going global. These twin experiences help him in bringing the entrepreneurial perspective to a wide variety of organisations.