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Being a woman entrepreneur can be lonely, important to have mentors: Ameera Shah

The Metropolis Healthcare MD says that it's important to talk about mistakes as well.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 07, 2019, 08.13 AM IST
Ameera Shah
Ameera Shah revealed how her own values shaped her journey.
Metropolis Healthcare MD Ameera Shah had no one to turn to for advice at the start of her entrepreneurial journey. So, she reached out and developed a group of mentors.

A group of human resource professionals gathered at a suburban hotel in Mumbai recently to listen to Ameera Shah, MD of Metropolis Healthcare. Shah, 40, was dressed in an antithesis of the white lab coat associated with medicine and health care. In a blue saree with a gold border and wearing a red necklace, Shah shared her roller coaster ride to success with her audience.

“There has been lots of learning, mistakes, failures. Fortunately, there have been more successes than failure,” Shah said. “I think what is important is to talk openly about failure. We have successful people often talking about what they did right, but we don’t talk about what we did wrong.” Shah spoke about the challenges of building a business without having come from a business family.

Finding mentors
“It’s lonely when it is a small business,” she said. “Being a woman entrepreneur multiplied the loneliness. Often, you want to reach out to your friends and talk to people in various situations. Unfortunately, I did not have the ecosystem of friends that I could reach out to. I wasn’t born in a business family. There were no uncles or aunts that I could reach out to.”

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She had no option but to expand her circle. “What I did from 2012 onwards is decide that I don’t want it to be a lonely journey anymore,” Shah said. “I went out and built relationships with people who I liked. I think there are people who are always happy to help. But you need to show the ability to seek help. The key thing about these relationships is gratitude. You have to be able to express your gratitude in some way to make the relationships worthy for those people. That has been important.”

Shah said she did a bunch of courses to gain new connections. “I went for a course to learn structured investment for myself. I developed a group of mentors I could reach out to, especially in crisis situations,” she said. “More importantly, I learnt to be open to discuss things freely with professionals and not feel like I should have the answers to everything.”

In-house role models
Sharing how her own values shaped her journey, Shah said, “I started my company with values important to me — quality, empathy and integrity. Unless you live them every day, they have no meaning and become rhetorical.”

Her doctor parents were role models. “I grew up watching my parents [Sushil and Duru Shah] being ethical in whatever they did,”

Shah said. “I never saw them go for opportunities to make extra money or cut costs. It was always the patient first. As a child, I imbibed these values and built them into my company.”
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