Eshani Shah: Entertaining and Leading Gujarati Association of New England

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Eshani Shah has served Gujarati Association of New England (Gurjar) in various roles since joining the organization in 1985, and has entertained New Englanders through her Dhoom Entertainment LLC, an event management and entertainment company. She also serves as TV Asia correspondent in Boston. Professionally, Shah is a co-owner of S4 Inc., a multimillion dollar defense contract company having offices in six states with about 110 employees and gross annual revenue of over $20 million.

INDIA New England News: Can you tell the readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?
Eshani Shah: My work spans over three different areas, cultural, professional and communal.

I have been involved with Gurjar since 1985. In last 30 years I have held various executive positions including the President. Over the years, I have organized events which are well attended by a heterogeneous crowd. We have given a platform for all ages to participate and exhibit their talents. I have been part of a lot of initiatives at Gurjar like the first ever Diwali Magazine, Gurjar Mela, Gurjar Grand Parents Club, hosting Gujarati and Hindi plays, co-hosting dance competitions. In 2014, I introduced and spearheaded the Super Mom dance competition for mothers which has been very well received. Last year, 70 moms participated and this year we had 82 participants.

I am the owner/President of Dhoom Entertainment LLC, an Event Management/ Entertainment Company, formerly known as Avanter Group. . Dhoom has made many charitable contributions through our events. I have partnered with local and national organizations that have benefited from my services/events whereby I have donated partial proceeds for various causes to social, charitable, civic or religious. I am a pioneer in bringing Celebrity artists from Indian Cinema, Theatre and Television at both Local and National level. My goal has been to keep the Indian Culture thriving. Almost, 100 percent attendance at my events validates my work and efforts to connect with and serve the South Asian community of New England.

I am the Boston Bureau Head for TV Asia, a New York-based national television station. Personally, I am a stage artist and have acted in many plays back in India and in the USA. I have done cameo on the famous comedy TV show called “Tarak Mehta ka Oltah Chashma” that is aired on SAB TV in India and worldwide.

Professionally I am a co-owner of S4 Inc., a multimillion dollar defense contract company having offices in six states with about 110 employees and gross annual revenue of over $20 million. Being a detailed oriented person my current positions is that of Quality Control manager. I am responsible for overseeing ISO-QMS and have maintained the certification for last 10 years. S4 has earned such honors as being ranked among the prestigious Inc. 500/5000, the fastest growing private companies in America, for seven consecutive years. As well as fastest growing company awarded by Boston Business Journal for 5 consecutive years and also named Delloite fast 50, and Washington Technology Fast 50 in DC area.

INE: To which charitable, community and professional groups do you belong and why?
ES: Being a Gujarati preserving and promoting the Gujarati culture has been close to my heart. When I came to USA in 1985 I was already an artist who had done plays, participated in dance shows, TV shows back home. Being culturally inclined I immediately got interested in the organization. Performed by first play for them in June 1985 and there on have continued to initiate projects/events and shows for Gurjar. During my tenure we have supported various charities including NGOs during Gujarat earthquake when the Organization raised over $120,000 to help the victims. We have assisted fundraisers for Tsunami victims, 9/11 victims. We have conducted pledges during our events to support to Ekal Vidyalaya and Shishubharti. We have given out scholarships to college bound children of Life members.

My work is not limited to Gurjar. My adherences to community service as well as event planning have opened up several new avenues for me and my company (Dhoom). I have helped promote and increase awareness for Indian Circle for Caring. I have been the part of the host committee for AkshayPatra in 2011/2012. I have been on the host committee for the Saheli Annual Fundraiser in 2011 — 2013 and now in 2015. I am also in the core committee of a group that hosts a musical concert every year based on different themes to raise funds in support of Saheli and Shishubharti.

Professionally, since our company S4 Inc. is in the defense area we do a lot of charitable work for armed forces and in the defense industry.

INE: In what way do you feel you have most positively influenced the local community and/or your company and professional field?
ES: As Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get, but make a life with what we give”.
Doing something for others gives me a lot of gratification. That includes friends, family and the community at large. In Gurjar, I have rotated through various positions and am the first President to hold office for 2 consecutive years. My relentless pursuit for quality and perfection for my events, innovative marketing strategies have guaranteed success for my shows/projects and in turn have helped both Gurjar and Dhoom Entertainment to flourish in this community.

INE: Your rare talent?
ES: “As they say once you learn to step beyond boundaries the possibilities are endless,” I love to push my boundaries. I am multifaceted and can work on multiple projects effortlessly to execute them very successfully. My organization skills, my time management, creativity and ability to connect with the South Asian Community across the board helps me produce successful events, which is a great encouragement for my sponsors and visiting artists as well as the organization. I am self-motivated, hit or miss does not discourage me. I am told by friends and colleagues that my energy is infectious and that the word “CANNOT” does not exist in my vocabulary. With all my endeavors I have created a home away from home for the South Asian Community of New England.

INE: What are your hobbies and interests?
ES: My primary hobbies are event planning, dancing, acting, watching television, public speaking, and hanging out with friends. I like watching Bollywood movies. I love choreographing and have choreographed musicals for local temple, cultural shows for organizations, as well as dances at weddings. Have participated in dance competitions and won awards. I love to plan parties and events. I am a self-proclaimed Antakshari champion. I have also emceed and moderated large events locally and nationally.

INE: Your favorite books?
ES: My favorite author is my dad, Padmashree Tarak Mehta. He has published over 90 books in the Gujarati language and every book is my favorite. He is a humorist and all his books have been best sellers. I also love reading Danielle Steel and Jeffrey Archer. I am an ardent fan of Archie comics.

INE: Your favorite quotes:
ES: My favorite quotes are by Henry David Thoreau as I can relate to them.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

INE: Who inspires you?
ES: My Inspiration: My father Padmashree Tarak Mehta whose writings have entertained infinite people across the globe. In his articles “DuniyaNe Undha Chashma” and his serial by a similar name “Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah” community integration, family values and resolving problems with a laughter are highlighted which has taught me to be positive in life.

INE: Core values you live by:
ES: Self-Motivation , Positivity, Never burn Bridges, Charity Begins at Home, and Focus on how you can succeed – avoid comparison.

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