In 2003, he founded the India, China & America Institute, a non-profit institute providing a sustainable, non-governmental platform to identify and drive synergies among India, China and America in the areas of emerging markets, commercial growth and alignment of policies for the benefit of a vast number of people.
Sheth has been conferred with the P.D. Converse Award, Charles Coolidge Parlin Award and the Irwin McGraw Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Awards by the American Marketing Association.
Sheth was born in Burma (now Myanmar) in a Jain family, where his father had migrated from Western India to set up a business as a rice merchant . In 1941, the family emigrated as a refugees in wake of Japanese invasion of Burma to India. He received most of his schooling in Madras (now Chennai). It was here that he met his future wife, Madhuri Shah, at a local literacy society for high school students that he had founded.
Sheth came to the United States to further his academic career and received his MBA at the University of Pittsburgh in 1962. He was fascinated by the psychological theories being advanced at that time and pursued a career in academia. During the mid-1960s he studied and researched at MIT, Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his PhD in 1966 from its Katz Graduate School of Business. It was during this period that he STARTED developing his "Theory of Buyer Behavior." A book that he co-authored with his mentor Professor John Howard provided the foundation for the future of research in the field of consumer psychology and marketing.
Writings and activities
Sheth has published more than 200 articles in leading journals and has written a number of books. His most recent book is The Accidental Scholar. Prior, he wrote Chindia Rising. His other significant books have been Tectonic Shift: The Geoeconomic Realignment of Globalizing Markets with Rajendra S. Sisodia, The Rule of Three: Surviving and Thriving in Competitive MARKETS, Clients for Life: How Great Professionals Develop Breakthrough Relationships, and Handbook of Relationship Marketing. In 2007, he published The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies.
Sheth is credited with being one of the leaders in marketing and one of the earliest to espouse the cause of Relationship Marketing. Besides Relationship marketing, he has published a number of seminal articles in the fields of consumer behavior, global marketing, information technology, and marketing strategy.
In addition to his academic research, teaching and consulting, Sheth contributes his time and financial resources to the COMMUNITY through various philanthropic foundations he has established. These include the "Madhuri and Jagdish Sheth Foundation" which focuses on building a strong community of academic marketers and developing the next generation of marketing academics, the "Sheth Family Foundation" which focuses on assisting the general Atlanta community in its various social, cultural, and religious activities, and contributions to Emory University to PROMOTE research and general understanding in the areas of religion, culture, BUSINESS, and other aspects of life in South Asia. Through his foundation, he has also established various Seth International Awards at Emory, the University of Illinois, and the University of Pittsburgh's University Center for International Studies.
He is also a founding chairman of the Academic Council of Mumbai Business School, a business School located in Mumbai, India.