Renowned Emory University marketing scholar Jagdish Sheth can add another one to his display case.
Dr. Sheth, still active in the business and academic community at 81, was awarded the Padma Bhushan award from India’s national government on Republic Day Jan. 26.
India’s third highest civilian honor in the category of literature and education focuses on his contributions to academia, industry, government and Indian communities around the world.
Through the Sheth Family Foundation and other philanthropic endeavors, Dr. Sheth has underwritten many local awards and initiatives aiming to encourage international business and scholarship in Atlanta. He has also served on various public companie’s boards of directors, including Indian tech giant Wipro Ltd., which has an development center here.
Born to Gujarati parents in Burma, his family fled the Japanese invasion of 1941, settling in Madras (now Chennai), India. He describes the humble beginnings of his life journey in the “The Accidental Scholar,” one of the more than 30 books that complement his 350-plus scholarly articles.
Dr. Sheth for more than two decades has also served as a mentor to TiE Atlanta, the local chapter of an entrepreneurial organization that began in India and has spread throughout the world. As his Padma Bhushan was announced, members of TiE Delhi were also given the Padma Shri award, which is designated for leaders in trade and industry.
TiE Atlanta’s leadership praised Dr. Sheth after the announcement, noting that they’re planning a Feb. 24 event in his honor, with details to come. More on TiE here
“Dr. Sheth is a role model in the TiE community. He is a generous mentor and a pillar of TiE Atlanta. The Padma Bhushan is a fitting recognition of his efforts of multiple decades in recognizing India’s potential and realizing this potential,” said C.N. Madhususan, a TiE Global board member and Atlanta-based business advisor.
In his own statement issued to TiE, Dr. Sheth said the organization is uniquely positioned to drive India forward.
“I am truly humbled and grateful for the Padma Bhushan award. A nation’s true competitive advantage is entrepreneurship. India is blessed with entrepreneurs. And there is no better organization than TiE to unlock India’s potential, especially in the digital age. I am proud to be a charter member of TiE Atlanta for 20 years,” said Dr. Sheth.
The Padma Bhushan award is to be formally presented to Dr. Sheth by the president of India, Ram Nath Govind, in a ceremony in March 2020.
Dr. Sheth has retained close ties to Indian leaders through the years, presenting Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a copy of his book in 2014 and later with a leadership award during a January 2019 global marketing conference, a gesture that sparked some controversy in the country. This week, amid messages of congratulations, some took to Twitter to question whether the Padma was repayment for his recognition of the newly re-elected Mr. Modi.
For Emory University’s part, the Goizueta Business School’s library issued a statement congratulating the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Business, posting links to two interviews that explain more about his life and work.