Founding Principal at CMG Companies

Nik Bhakta


A founding Principal, Nik Bhakta has been with CMG Companies (CMG) since the company was founded, and he currently oversees CMG’s real estate development and its hotel portfolio.

He’s also involved in oversight for the company’s Sonic and Little Caesars franchise portfolios. He says, “Right now, I’ve been learning quite a bit in the hotel space. We have 300 or so restaurants, and I drew the straw of getting into the hotel side but still keep my operational skills sharp with restaurants”

He continues, “I worked from an early age in my parents’ hotels, doing everything from A to Z. Thankfully, these days, I’m more involved in portfolio management and acquisitions.”

Nik claims that the best part of his job is analyzing deals and traveling to view hotel properties. He states that since his home is not in Dallas where CMG Companies is headquarterd, it is advantageous to the group because it allows him to offer an outside perspective on things.
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Nik’s family came to New Mexico, where Nik grew up with his three sisters. After receiving his degree in education he says, “After working in education for a while, I felt that I needed a change. Around the same time, me and the guys visited a Genghis Grill together. I left a comment card stating our interest in franchising.”

When the first of CMG's Genghis Grill was opened in 2001, the team struggled. Thankfully, through passion and perseverance, the restaurant was able to become profitable, opening up the ability to purchase other restaurants, and eventually, the entire Genghis Grill concept.

In an effort to diversify and branch out, CMG began looking at the hotel industry. Currently, the company owns and operates several properties with more in development.

On coming to work each day, Nik states, “I love what I do, and I think we’re building something special. We have hotels, a cricket team, retail outlets and restaurants, but more importantly, we have comradery. We don’t just work together. We all take vacations together, we hang out after work…it’s just really nice to work with your best friends.”

When not working, Nik enjoys sports, and while he loves the NFL, he claims that he doesn’t have a favorite team. He is, however, a huge fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. Nik also enjoys playing with his two sons and checking out movies with his family.

Nik is a fan of business books, including those written by Sir Richard Branson. His favorite restaurant is Houston’s, and he can’t turn down a good cheeseburger. When asked about Indian cuisine, Nik jokingly says, “I’ve been trying to perfect my recipes, but so far, it hasn’t worked out. We did have an Indian fusion restaurant, but we’ve found that it’s difficult to get the consumer trained on the flavors. We had that challenge at Genghis Grill at first, but we learned that it’s all about educating the consumer.”

When it comes to charitable giving, Nik prefers not to make a spectacle of their philanthropy. He says, “I believe in giving out of the goodness of your heart. I feel like that’s rewarding enough. Every Christmas, my family and I help out children’s wish lists and we provide donations for those in need. I wish I could do more, honestly. I learned from my dad that it’s best to give on the ground level. When you provide support for a large charity, you don’t always know where the money is going. Instead, I want to know that I’m truly making a difference for those in need.”
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