Chintan Shah is the President of KNB Communications, a full-service marketing and PR firm that specializes in healthcare technology. Prior to joining KNB, Chintan worked for IBM in New York City, focused on Power Systems sales, while working with clients in the healthcare, finance, and media markets. Chintan also previously held roles in marketing and sales for Unfors Raysafe, a medical radiation management company headquartered in Bildall, Sweden. Chintan is passionate about applying technology and innovation to solving problems, especially in healthcare applications. He is excited about marketing new products and services that help people live better lives through disruptive, but easy-to-use technology. His Bachelor’s is in Communications and International Studies from University of Wisconsin; his MBA is from Babson College.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Chintan Shah: Thanks for having me! My name is Chintan Shah, and our company, KNB Communications, provides communications, marketing, and public relations services for leading healthcare companies that are trying to improve how people receive healthcare. We offer specialized programs to help bring technology forward, and we won’t stop until every person has access to high-quality, affordable, hassle-free healthcare.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Chintan Shah: Business acumen runs deep in my family. My grandfather was an accountant and ran a small business in India and taught my father the values of the free market and the importance of economic trends. My father came from Bombay to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on a harrowing journey in the mid-1960s. He earned his MBA and worked for several large companies before achieving his dream of owning his own health care consulting small business. When I was born, my dad even tried very hard to get my first word to be “entrepreneur.” Turned out to be “Mama…,” but the die was cast for me to love business and marketing in my life and my career. My parents certainly influenced me strongly in very positive ways.
I intimately appreciated the strategic nature of business in helping my dad build his company and I enjoyed the challenges and triumphs associated with sales. Ultimately, he taught me that customer service was helping clients to solve puzzles together. I have made that the hallmark of my work throughout my career. I opened my first business in the 4th grade shortly after being inspired by Lee Iacocca’s autobiography. I sold homegrown alfalfa sprouts at a stand in my suburban Milwaukee neighborhood. Since then, I was hooked.
I’m a firm believer in education and I believe that helped me to get where I am today. I attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison and always intended to pursue a career in business. As kids, my brother and I were taught to set goals – memorialize them in writing and they can become reality. So we did. My goals after graduation included moving to New York City, working for a large company, and starting to build a successful career. Each one of those goals became reality.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Chintan Shah: Some of my employees would probably be surprised that I’m actually quite a sentimental person. The side of me they see at the office is very rational and composed, and I make decisions based on logic. However, that’s balanced by my compassion and understanding.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Chintan Shah: Entrepreneurs are individuals who believe in themselves and their ideas so strongly that they are willing to take on considerable risks. They don’t always succeed on their first try, but they are resilient and crave the learning experience. When they do face failures, they are not afraid to acknowledge them, but they get back up, prepare for another round, and are armed with the knowledge they did not previously possess.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Chintan Shah: Having a supportive and inclusive culture is of the utmost importance. Among some of our successes at KNB, our company’s 4.9-star rating on Glassdoor.com is one I am most proud of. When a diverse group of people feels accepted and empowered to share their unique perspectives, we are able to creatively problem-solve for any challenge we encounter.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Chintan Shah: Disruptive change should be ongoing. Pre-COVID, during COVID and post-COVID times, can not and should not prevent innovation and idea nurturing. Leaders must bring forward a clearly stated mission and have a strategy to accomplish that mission. They need to put their passion first. They must have vision and values. This is how they build momentum. Their passion and vision attract other passionate people who understand and identify with the mission. Then, be willing to adapt and adjust. Do not be too entrenched to lose sight of the context that surrounds you.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Chintan Shah: I work with a talented team to help the people who help you when you’re sick or to keep you from getting sick.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Chintan Shah: I have to admit, I am a huge fan of Seinfeld and my recollection of details from episodes is strong. It may not be useful on a daily basis, but I have certainly been able to connect with strangers on more than one occasion thanks to a Seinfeld trivia moment!
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Chintan Shah: “An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Sprouts to Social Media”
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Chintan Shah for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Chintan Shah or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.