Vijay Manthripragada has been president and CEO of Montrose Environmental Group since 2015 and is a member of the company’s board.
Previously, he served as CEO of e-commerce firm PetCareRx Inc., senior vice president in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs and director at the Advisory Board Co. He was also a member of Johnson & Johnson’s management development program and helped establish the Children’s Medical Foundation in Europe. He also co-founded the White Buffalo Tiospaye, a youth shelter for Native American children in South Dakota.
Manthripragada received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and Oxford University.
What made North Little Rock an attractive place for a corporate headquarters?
There were several locations evaluated, but ultimately our decision came down to a couple of key factors. First, we have continued to expand nationally and globally, making a Central Time Zone site more convenient to do business, especially given our expansion on the East Coast and Europe.
Second, in CTEH, we recognize that we have tremendous talent, and we have been able to promote and hire truly incredible colleagues in Arkansas. We also own the building and land in North Little Rock, which helps with our expansion plans and needs.
Lastly, Gov. Asa Hutchinson was very generous with various incentives and wanted us to be a part of the community. We are thrilled to now call Arkansas our corporate home.
Please explain what Montrose does in layman’s terms.
We help our clients understand, measure and manage their environmental footprint or risk. For example, we help clients accurately measure their methane emissions or surrounding air quality. As another example, we help clients remove PFAS, the “forever chemicals,” from water. In essence, we provide environmental solutions. Our mission is to help protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that feeds us.
Where does growth lie for Montrose?
We grow organically and through acquisitions. As our most recent results make clear, we are doing both in 2021 with organic growth being more prominent than in the recent past. We work in a highly fragmented industry, where we see a lot of room for growth and expansion.
What is your most important mistake that has helped shape your career?
The biggest mistakes I’ve made often involve people, particularly when I don’t really listen and understand them completely. Specifically, I’ve moved people into roles before they were ready or when they did not really want to be moved though they said they did. I try hard to provide opportunities and I put trust in people to perform; when they can’t, I am responsible and accountable.
Over my career and even before, I’ve learned a lot from being a part of and building teams. Listening and observing — not just to words but to the sentiment and action behind the words — and truly understanding how to get people to thrive (and incentivizing them to do so) is the most important part of my job, and I can certainly be better at it.