Ron Parikh, principal of CMG Companies and an alumnus of the Naveen Jindal School of Management, recently was chosen a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Dallas Business Journal. The award recognizes young business leaders who are making their mark on North Texas.
Parikh earned a BS in Business Administration degree with a concentration in management information systems from UT Dallas in 2001. He partnered with friends he met on campus to launch the company that would evolve into CMG.
“My friends and I started our entrepreneurial journey at a young age with a billiards parlor,” said Parikh. “We all went to full time school, and had jobs to pay for bills and expenses and in the evening and nights, we worked in the billiards parlor.”
After selling the parlor in early 2000s, Parikh and his partners ventured into the restaurant industry by becoming a Genghis Grill restaurant franchisee, and opened up their first location at Northwest Highway and Interstate 35 in Dallas. In 2004, they bought the entire Genghis Grill brand. At the time, there were six locations in the United States, with three in Dallas. Today, there are more than 90 locations in 15 states.
“In our first restaurant, we did everything,” he said. “We put tile on the walls, moved in equipment and worked in the restaurant as servers, busboys and dishwashers. If you shy away from getting into the weeds, it’s hard to tell the staff how to do things the right way.”
Parikh serves on the advisory board for Pratham USA, Dallas-Fort Worth chapter, a non-governmental charity working to provide quality education to underprivileged children in India.
CMG has established the Chalak Mitra Life Scholarship for undergraduate students in JSOM. Parikh, who is married and the father of two daughters, age 9 and 5, said he is proud of the direction that UT Dallas is going.
“The school is completely different now from when I was attending in the late ’90s and early 2000s. It’s an exciting time,” he said.
— Glenda Vosburgh