Entrepreneurship is all about celebrating the journey and aiming higher, says Ami Shah

Ami Shah
Ami Shah, Co-Founder & Creative Director at IntelliAssist

An engineer by training, and a marketer by choice, Ami Shah is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at IntelliAssist, a full-service digital & social media marketing agency. She has been involved in the profession of creating brands, managing customer expectations & creating demand for complex solutions for over a decade and a half. Ami Shah has worked with B2B and B2C companies across different industry sectors in India and Southeast Asia. She is a seasoned professional who has experienced a diverse business environment – she has worked in large organizations, mid-sized businesses, and start-ups. Her company IntelliAssist has clients in different industry sectors and has also supported pre-election campaigns of one of the senior BJP leaders in Maharashtra (now a Minister). The company has also supported the ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive by one of the leading non-profit/ spiritual organizations.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview where Ami unfolded her entrepreneurial journey with HelloPost Team:

Tell us something about yourself.

A “dreamer”, a “storyteller” and a “seeker”; that’s what I am! An engineer by training and a marketer by choice, my journey has been full of surprises and joyous moments. After working for over a decade with Indian and Multinational companies, across Southeast Asia and emerging markets, I decided to start-up; and guess that was the real beginning. Presently, I am the Co-Founder and Creative Director of IntelliAssist and associated as a visiting/adjunct faculty with over seven IIMs in the nation (including Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, and Kozhikode). I have authored five case studies in Harvard Business Publishing and Ivey Publishing. I am presently a mentor at L-incubator and have served the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) as an advisory board member.

What motivated you to start your own venture?

It was actually frustration that pushed me to start my own venture! The frustration of doing the same old stuff; the frustration of not being able to contribute in the real sense of the term; and the frustration of being stagnated in terms of learning and personal development. Well, it’s incorrect to say there wasn’t any motivation – I believed that I could contribute to branding and marketing communications (especially in the business-to-business segment).

What were the challenges that you’ve faced while starting your own venture?

Human resource is one of the biggest challenges for any service-based start-up and that’s what I faced as well.

Which was the moment in your journey when you felt that it's not working but still you didn’t lose your hope and kept it going?

It came within the first six months and served as a reality check. However, I had decided to give two years to the start-up and the conviction helped.

What was the biggest achievement during your entrepreneurship journey?

As an entrepreneur, every achievement is big and none actually is! Entrepreneurship is all about celebrating the journey and aiming higher. So, guess I don’t have an answer to your question at this point in time.

How do you maintain a good work-life balance and mental health?

My work has been my passion and hence it was never difficult for me to strike the balance. As part of my work, I meet several people and candid conversations help me rejuvenate. Furthermore, I love to travel and explore local culture and cuisine; the lap of nature helps me maintain good physical and mental health.

Who is your role model?

I am inspired by several people; and the list is actually long and has no particular order - Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Anand Mahindra, Ratan Tata, Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Jeff Bezos, and more.

What is your secret to success?

Perseverance is the secret key to success; after all, the harder it gets, the more we win!

What’s one leadership lesson that you’ve learned in your career?

I have learned three laws of “EVOLUTION” that applies to every individual and every business. First, evolution is continuous and messy; second, we should love it; and third, when the heart stops beating and one stops evolving, it is the end of life.

Any advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

There is no right age, right time and right skills for one to get started. What’s important is the right attitude.

Anything else that you would like to add.

Be a genuine person; the world has too many geniuses already! 

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