Perry Mehta

President and CEO of FutureNet Group Inc. in Detroit. FutureNet is an environmental, construction, and technology firm with more than 100 employees. Under Mehta's leadership, the company has grown 377 percent in revenue, earning it a consistent listing on the Inc. 5000, as well as the annual Inner City 100 Award for Excellence in Urban Business. The company has been named one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch and an Emerging Small Business by the Small Business Administration. Mehta also is co-owner and COO of Solar Water Energy, which owns two patents for using solar energy to convert ocean water into fresh water and generate energy as a secondary product. He also is the founding director of the Michigan Environmental Waste Association. His awards and honors include the Small Business Administration Region V's Minority Small Business Person of the Year; State of Michigan Emerging Small Business Leader; Outstanding Asian-American Businessman of the Year, Asian American Business Development; Most Outstanding Engineer/Scientist of Indian Origin by Time magazine; and the US GSA Green Award for Project Director, Best Environmental Project in the United States. Mehta is the founding director of the Michigan Emerging Business Association, which addresses the needs and concerns of minority contractors. He is active in the American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin. He has built a college in the village of Malvan in Gujarat, India; established a scholarship at his alma mater in India; and has helped several engineers establish themselves in the United States by providing jobs and financial assistance. Each year, Mehta has been a major corporate supporter of Angel's Night and has worked with the Detroit Planning and Development Department to improve conditions for senior citizens. In addition, Mehta's construction division renovated an abandoned apartment building for rental to teen mothers, charging only for the cost of materials. He received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology in India, and his master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

WHERE BORN: “Ahmedabad, India.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “For career, I like the motivational businessman Jim Collins. I've read most of his books. I'm fond of Good to Great and adopting company strategy principles around his philosophy.”

LAST BOOK READ:Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni. It's the best of the last few that I've read. It's about not keeping any bad intentions and to go as clear as possible in your professional and personal life. That's my principle – what you see is what you get.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Visionary and a leader. I can see the big picture very quickly.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Infrastructure has to be maintained, upgraded, and fixed. The need will be there for a long time. If the current changes, business people have to have the flexibility to divert along with the current. We provide, under the big umbrella of infrastructure, environmental technology and infrastructure protection services. I view it as a glass half full – it's going very well.”


FAVORITE PLACE: “Home. I love to see my family. Worldwide, Switzerland is pretty good. In the US, I would not trade Michigan for any other place. It has all four seasons, and I've made it my home.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I do like to watch TV and work on improving my leadership. I take personal time to mentor young folks and young companies.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “I have been a vegetarian for the last 12 months and I like spicy food – Indian, Thai, and Chinese.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I can be tough. I'm known as a nice, caring person but I have become tough to make harder decisions for the bigger picture.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a good person, a good, good-hearted leader and visionary.”