An Engineer, Academician, Entrepreneur, Marketer and an author, the list goes on and on when it comes to defining roles undertaken by Ami Shah. For over a decade and a half, Ami Shah has been involved in the profession of creating brands, managing customer expectations & creating demand for complex solutions. An engineer by qualification & a marketer by choice, Shah has worked with B2B and B2C companies across different industry sectors in India and Southeast Asia. Shah is a seasoned professional who has experienced a diverse business environment – she has worked in large organizations, mid-sized businesses and start-ups.
The latest tag to her name comes in the form of Entrepreneur after she started her own company IntelliAssist. It is a full-service digital & social media-marketing agency. Currently she manages the creative aspect of the company as a creative director.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
IntelliAssist <www.intelliassist.in> is a full-service digital agency in Mumbai; we also offer print media and direct marketing support. The company is focused on providing comprehensive range of marketing communication services to business and consumer brands. We assist businesses of all sizes, across industry sectors.
Our service offering includes online brand audit, digital media strategy formulation, website and custom application development, social media marketing, online reputation management (ORM), search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) & online display campaign management. Additionally, we create collateral and manage a hybrid lead generation campaigns for B2B brands
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Having my own baby was the motivation. As a marketer, I have worked with multinational B2B companies. Year-on-year, my business title changed, geographies I managed expanded; however my learning hit the ceiling.
When you start on your own, there is new learning. There are a plethora of opportunities. You just need to take the plunge. The experience is highly enriching!
What is your life mantra?
- Having no fixed mantra is my life mantra.
- One needs to be flexible and harness new opportunities to be successful. Some call this innovation; others call this diversification; I call this the way of living.
- However, before I pursue any new opportunity, I evaluate it on my “value” scale. If it passes the test, I go for it. If it fails, I drop it.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
- Services is all about people. If you wish to maintain quality, you need to scale carefully.
- I had a huge team at one point in time and I realized that quality deteriorates. I quickly scaled back. I am glad I did so; there are at least 7 agencies I know, who closed shops because they were over ambitious and underperformed. Their last year of operations wiped off profits they earned in earlier years.
- I had two options – get someone of my caliber to co-manage the business or diversify. I chose the later.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We have diversified in to consulting and training. We engage temp staff and dedicated staff as and when required. We believe in maintaining a moderately small team that’s manageable.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are a services business and I have never looked for outside investments. A few months ago, I was approached by an investor; he wanted to completely take over my business. Proposed deal was financially attractive, but it did not fit in to my objectives.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
This is a challenge that we have been facing. Every individual has a growth objective. It takes a very different level of motivation for someone to stay in a smaller organization and grow with time. We have a few tactics to retain talent; however we have not cracked any strategy that works!
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Being a digital marketer, I use a plethora of tools. A few to list are Alexa, Pingdom, VideoIQ, FollowerWonk, Google Business tools and more.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I am process and result oriented. I plan everything right at the start and I am aware what I want at the end.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I am too hands-on. At times, I micro-manage.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
There’s no short-cut. Keep walking!
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
We should not overestimate our capabilities and underestimate that of others.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
You don’t need to be a genius to succeed; you need to be genuine!
What are your plans for next 3 years?
I have professional goals, academic goals and personal goals. Being an introvert, I prefer keeping all these to myself.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I am happy the way my career has shaped-up. God has been kind! If at all there is something that I could change by starting over again; I would change my education. Rather than opting for Engineering, I would opt for Commercial Art this time :).
What are your top three getaway destinations?
I love nature. If I need to unwind after a hectic day, I take a walk on the Juhu Beach. When I am relatively free, I prefer a quick trip to the mountains. Haven’t been able to take a long break in the recent times; however I love visiting less explored places, connect with local people, understand their culture, food, trade and festivals. Their stories fill me with energy!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Well, this is not a quote by any notable person. It’s just my strong conviction.
“Shades of Grey promise a Green Pasture.”