CEO, Satellite Group
Born and raised in Mumbai, Sarjan was educated at the Cathedral and John Connon, and the Dhirubhai Ambani International schools in the city, graduating with an International Baccalaureate Diploma in 2007.
He then studied for a B.Sc. in International Relations & History at the London School of Economics from 2007 to 2010.
From 2010 to 2014 Sarjan returned to Mumbai to lead his family real estate development business - Group Satellite - for four years. During this time, Sarjan oversaw multiple strategic deals, conducted significant capital raises and built on the business’ existing strong brand equity.
Starting a two-year sabbatical in 2014, Sarjan enrolled at Harvard Business School to do an MBA in Business, Govt. & the International Economy and at Cambridge University to do an Advanced Diploma in Philosophy.
Completing both programmes and his sabbatical in June 2016, Sarjan returned to Mumbai to complete Group Satellite’s transition into a debt-light, technology-driven and customer-centric organisation.
Between 2019 and 2021, Sarjan has also founded Ikigai Capital - a strategic advisory, early-stage investing firm that focuses on future-relevant industries and conducts research into the way political systems, social narratives, technology and ecological change interact.
In late 2020, Sarjan entered into a partnership with one of the world’s leading AI companies - Peak AI - based out of Manchester, UK. Peak delivers high-performance through decision intelligence across the manufacturing, real estate, retail and CPG industries. It delivers complex solutions by integrating existing and potential data and processing it through proprietary AI/ML platforms in order to drive predictive, usable insights for customers.
Sarjan specialises first and foremost in abstract, conceptual and strategic thinking. He is able to bear broad mental maps and a wide ambit of knowledge.
Through a decade of business leadership experience, he also excels at crisis management and leadership during transitions, complex real estate and financial structuring, quasi-legal advisory for M&A activity and assessing regulatory risk.
Having led Group Satellite through its first major transition at the loss of his father and the Group’s founding Chairman & Managing director, Mr Pankaj S. Shah. Since his death came suddenly (during the infamous 26/11/2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai), Sarjan took over as Managing Director at the age of 19 while still completing his undergraduate degree in London. Over the next decade, the Mumbai real estate sector saw incredible financial, regulatory and market volatility. Prices, supply and operations were all significantly impacted during the period 2011-12 and 2018-19. Despite such external volatility and internal challenges due to the absence of his father, Sarjan ensured that GS maintained adequate liquidity, ensured completion and delivery of over 1.5 m. square feet of inventory, repaid 12.02 Bn to lenders, raised 22.25 Bn fresh capital and created real estate worth 42.03 Bn.
From 2016 onwards, Sarjan re-focused the Group’s real estate activities along four strategic priorities: deleveraging the balance sheet, radically redesigning the product, focusing only on direct-to-consumer sales, and becoming vertically integrated in order to clawback margins. With a sense that Mumbai RE margins will contract going forward, sales will be under pressure in most segments amidst heightening competition and brokerage is fast becoming unsustainable, he set out to build a highly analytical, cost-effective and scalable marketing & sales division, established an in-house EPC business (Satellite Aedifex), created an internal product team (architects, marketeers and engineers) and by 2021 cut 80% of Group long-term debt.
Going forward, Sarjan hopes to bring cutting-edge technology to India for the corporate and governmental sectors, while continuing to make early stage investments with exciting ventures and grow the core real estate operations of the Group.