SHWETA SHAH: THE PROTAGONIST, CREATING LASTING IMPRESSIONS THROUGH ELEGANT DESIGNING
There are many untold stories of female power in the Indian business world. Various business women have broken the glass ceiling and are improving the outlook for women in the startup ecosystem. The continued increase of women-led businesses and their participation in the entrepreneurial zone have turned out to be a major driver of economic growth India is witnessing.
Today’s women are progressing as designers, publishers, and exporters and still exploring new avenues of economic participation.
Among those handfuls, she cruises her entrepreneurial journey of incorporating “Shades by Shweta” with passion and confidence. With her strong sense of aesthetics, design, and creativity, Shweta is creating waves in the industry. She is a proud designpreneur and a beautiful soul to interact with.
In the recent conversation with The CEO Magazine, the leading lady described her journey, how she initiated her entrepreneurial career in interior designing, problems she had to face and her future plans.
TCM: At the outset, please give us a glimpse of yourself.
Shweta: It’s been 13 years since I started after completing my graduation in 2007. I’ve worked for multiple firms for 9 years. I did my MBA in design management just to understand the other side of the table in business while still working as designer and finally started with my own practice in the 2016 year-end.
Being inquisitive by nature, I try grabbing every opportunity to learn it can be from labours working onsite or clients to teams brainstorming together. I believe that ideas and knowledge can come from anywhere like a skilled labour can teach you the correct way of fixing or checking finishes and even a novice can come up with the craziest idea. I’ve been on my toes literally to figure out what works for space or getting an idea to life.
TCM: Briefly describe your company and the products or services you are offering.
Shweta: At shades studios, we are committed to solve the most complex challenges in the world of design. We believe that stunning designs start with a simple idea and functional planning. Next, there is “Shades by Shweta”. A design enthusiast team is dedicated to your goal and vision; we design spaces that are comfortable, personal and interesting which reflects your shade of personality.
Through our wide range of services, we’ll make sure that your expectations are not just met, but exceeded.
TCM: Going back to your early career decisions, tell us what factors influenced your decision to be an entrepreneur?
Shweta: I’m thankful to all the firms I worked with gave me lots of creative freedom & challenged me to explore my capabilities. So after working for close to 9 years I thought of going with a reset button with a fresh perspective. The idea to start from scratch all over again scared me a bit but, it also made it a stronger desire to take a step ahead – where it’s your blame, your game, and your name.
TCM: How do you ensure the unbreakable faith of your clients?
Shweta: Unbreakable faith comes when lots of persistence is seen in your work and not just promises you make. I ensure delivering consistent quality, maintaining transparency and being personally involved at every stage of the project making it easier for clients to have clarity on progress on work. Goodwill is something one has to earn no shortcuts.
TCM: What ethos is maintained for the employees in your company?
Shweta: It is a fresh start so a very open-door environment is maintained where one can ask as many questions, argue , make mistakes but work as a team and get productive output.
TCM: How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?
Shweta: My fascination for creating something new has never taken a backseat. Constant urge to explore new facets of this creative field led the transition from being an employee to an entrepreneur. The beauty of this profession is you get the opportunity to meet minds learnt from diverse culture and background; so every project teaches you something new and one can never say I know this chapter downright. I observe and imbibe qualities from my surroundings which has helped me grow as a person and reflects my work. My Self-belief about the vision and perseverance are the two major factors behind my progressive journey.
TCM: What do you think are the keys to professional and business success for women in India?
Shweta: Consistency is very important. It is also important to unlearn what we have grown up with, since we are in a society where there are different sets of rules for men and women and still struggle with sexism in almost every industry. But again, in every industry, you will find successful women. It’s because they never gave up. Persistence is what keeps women entrepreneurs going.
TCM: In a society like ours, with its skewed stereotypes, how did you manage to set out on your journey? What were the major challenges?
Shweta: The very fact that we hone patriarchy, women due to years of oppression have developed a mind-set where we seek validation and approval for everything we do. We try hard thinking we need to match up to standards or prove every time that we are equally good.
So self-belief is something I’ve thought about over the passing time. This belief and passion helped me set out from my comfort zone.
In India, people judge women because of their personal choices and their commitment towards the professional front. I had to suffer this a lot and it has been a major challenge for me.
TCM: What suggestion would you give for companies on how they can contribute to a more balanced and equal industry?
Shweta: The primary causes of low female entrepreneurship rates are unconscious biases, low confidence in business skills, difficult access to finance and networks, a lack of family support and child-care options, as well as insufficient safety in work and public spaces. Noise of gender equality runs the show everywhere; we need to rise above by just doing what is right as set standard, try to make change as individual and encourage genuine talent.
TCM: Please take us to the routine of your day, from the time you wake up to the time you go off to sleep. Also, share your hobbies.
Shweta: My routine is very flexible and prioritized based on my professional & personal commitments in a week to come by. It can be a day of complete back to back meetings or market research or just brainstorming on ideas.
Although it is tough to get free time when you are in a business, I steal some spare time from my packed day and read fiction or watch movies.
TCM: Tell us about a favourite movie that inspires you.
Shweta: The Intern movie – I find it light yet inspiring, it effortlessly says anyone immaterial of age/ gender can start a new journey if there is a will.
TCM: What does the future hold for your company? Kindly share your future goals. What are you most excited about?
Shweta: The future looks quite interesting as we are fascinated to challenge our versatility. We are working on projects which are completely different from one another in terms of brief & style. Our goal is to explore & experiment on multiple facets of the field and ace through it.
TCM: What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Shweta: Focus – sit back – and let your work speak.
TCM: What is your favourite quote?
Shweta: Well done is better than well said – Benjamin franklin.