While most of us are still snoozing, Sajeed “Titu” Asghar is already up and running every day. “My morning starts at 4:30 with news, a portfolio review, calls to the broker dealer in New York and answering emails,” says Asghar, the chief executive officer for The Morongo Band of Mission Indians since 2016.
This early bird gets the job done. Asghar oversees all aspects of Tribal operations — government programs, real estate and economic development of the Tribe’s many diversified businesses that employ more than 5,000 people, including two PGA golf courses, a 36-pump gas station and travel center, and the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa.
Asghar, who holds an MBA in investment finance and describes himself as an “inclusive” leader, has leveraged his experience in working with Tribal Nations for nearly two decades to help the Morongo Tribe generate $3 billion annually in economic prosperity.
“I normally do not direct my managers. Instead, I ask for their feedback and where I can help fill gaps,” he explains of his leadership style. “My managers take ownership of projects and are personally vested. I give them credit when they succeed, but take responsibility for failing to lead when projects fall short of their intended goal.”
What does “Titu” think his greatest achievements as CEO of the Morongo Tribe have been? Reducing operating expenses through consolidation of investable assets; increasing profit margins for the travel center and convenience store from 54 percent and 5 percent to 75 and 19 percent, respectively; and recently securing $385 million in funding to expand Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California.
His best advice for other business leaders: “Don’t settle for, ‘I have done my best.’ Do better.”