WALTHAM, MA–Shobha Shastry, one of the first female Indian-American entrepreneurs, who has followed her passion for serving the community for two decades, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Shobha Shastry is personification of community service and giving,” said Subu Kota, CEO and Chairman of the Boston Group. “There is no parallel to her in our community. She has done so much service to the community.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon extraordinary individuals annually by INDIA New England News, one of the nation’s largest print, online and video magazines covering the Indian and South Asian community.
Ms. Shastry will receive the award on June 1 at the 16th Annual Woman of the Year gala, where 20 outstanding women in the areas of science, technology, business, healthcare, arts and culture, and community and social services will also be honored. The event is attended by about 500 business and community leaders, philanthropists and professionals.
Ms. Shastry is founder and CEO of Alankar Event Planners & Decorators. She has provided wedding services, decorations and mandaps in New England for two decades. Ms. Shastry provides her services for free for charities and the needy, helping thousands of couples get married in New England.
“Shobha is a woman with heart, energy, and dedication. In over 25 years which I have known her, she has been a pillar of society and community, whether it’s someone needing wedding events successfully decorated, to giving free services to non-profit organizations,” said Samir Desai, a businessman, philanthropist and president of Aditi, Inc. “She truly has our family’s admiration, as well as whole community’s. She is a great entrepreneur and community leader.”
Known for her gold-star service, Ms. Shastry has never missed on her unwavering commitments to her clients and service.
On April 6, 2004, when her husband, Sharad, suddenly passed away, she had been booked at two weddings to provide decorations and mandaps. On the following Saturday, she went ahead with her tasks at both weddings and on Sunday cremated her husband’s body. Ms. Shastry did not even tell her clients that her husband had passed away, because it would have spoiled their weddings.
“I am very humbled that our community and INDIA New England News are honoring me this year,” said Ms. Shastry. “I am very thankful and grateful to my Boston family, friends, well-wishers and supporters for being with me all these years and encouraging me and giving me the strength to carry on.”
Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, who launched the Lifetime Achievement Award at INDIA New England News five years ago, said that no important event in New England is complete without Ms. Shastry.
“I have never seen Shobha turn down anyone and is always willing to help out and support everyone regardless of their budget,” said Dr. Sheth. “She is one of those who comes quietly with her team at night and transforms a simple ball room into a grand Indian palace. My sincere congratulations to her for this well-deserved award and deep gratitude for always being there for all of us in the community.”
Ms. Shastry is also one of the first female Indian-American entrepreneurs in New England. In 1999, she co-founded Sajawat with her partner, Nina Sawe. When a few months later, Ms. Sawe moved to New York, Ms. Shastry changed the name of the business to Alankar Event Planners & Decorators and continued the mantle. In 2004, when her husband passed away, she continued with her passion for business as a single mom of a daughter. Today, she takes care of her granddaughter and her 88-year-old father at her home.
Alankar Decorators has been providing wedding decorations, mandaps, and event planning throughout New England. Ms. Shastry is the creative and operational brainchild behind this successful endeavor. Her passion and sustained dedication to clients has made Alankar the premier “go-to” source for South Asian Weddings in the region. Alankar is the largest decor house in the northeast with vast designs and mandaps.
“On behalf of Indian and Indian-American community, we are truly honored to present the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 to Shobha Shastry,” said Upendra Mishra, publisher of INDIA New England News and its sister publications IndUS Business Journal and Boston Real Estate Times.