Carnegie Mellon University

hari menon

May 16, 2019

Leader-in-Residence: CEO of Symphony Industrial AI Visits Tepper School

Hari Menon, (MSIA ’95) CEO and founder of Symphony Industrial AI, visited his alma mater, the Tepper School of Business, as part of the Leader-in-Residence program on Feb. 15. A Leader-in-Residence supports the Tepper School’s strategic pillar of educating and preparing individuals to be creative problem solvers, analytical thinkers, value creators, ethical decision makers and transformative leaders.

His company, a startup that offers artificial intelligence solutions to companies in Oil & Gas, Chemicals Mining and other industry verticals, led many of the discussions about how AI and ethics will impact the future of work.

For Menon, his MBA from the Tepper School played an essential role to where he is today. Before enrolling in the Tepper School, Menon earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kerala and a master's degree in industrial engineering from Oklahoma State University.

“The Tepper School allowed me to round out my skills and broaden my understanding of how businesses operate,” Menon said. “The combination of coursework and interactions with colleagues at the school helped me evolve from being an engineer to being an entrepreneur.”

Throughout the day, Menon met with various faculty members and groups at Tepper, including the Swartz Fellows and Innovation Scholars and student leaders involved in entrepreneurship, business and technology, energy, operations and general management and the South Asian Business Association. He was impressed by what has changed since his last time on campus, and since he was a student.

“The new facilities, the focus around entrepreneurship and new programs will raise the profile of the school,” Menon said.

The ambition and drive of students impressed Menon, especially students in the second cohort of the MS Product Management degree program. “The students that I met with  were all very driven and talented,” Menon said. “Before I started companies in Silicon Valley, I spent quite a lot of time in product management. One of the critical hires in any technology startup is a product manager who can connect the dots between market trends, customer needs and the technology solution.”

The Leader-in-Residence program brings alumni back to campus to prepare students in the realms of problem solving, analytical thinking, ethical decision making and transformative leadership.

“I benefited from the Tepper School quite a bit, so it’s good to give back,” he said. “It’s also good to connect with the next generation of students that I can also learn from.”