Commencement is one of Prahar Shah’s favorite memories from MIT Sloan: he spent the day pitching his startup to investors, with just enough time between meetings to don a gown over his suit and walk across the stage.
Shah has brought that same dedication and passion to building his own company, innovating within a larger organization, and consulting on new projects.
After completing a business degree at Ontario’s Western University in 2006, Shah began working as a management consultant and private equity associate in locations including Dubai and Ghana, focusing on telecom, media, and technology. Eventually, however, he began to rethink his path. “I realized, you know what? I’m an entrepreneur,” he says. “I want to create something from nothing.”
Pursuing his MBA at Sloan, he was surrounded by a strong network of entrepreneurs. “I was exposed to people like me who were coming up with very lofty, crazy ideas and goals and then somehow achieving them,” he says.
Shah soon began developing a startup called Mobee that turns regular shoppers into a mobile workforce. Mobee shoppers use a smartphone app to complete simple tasks such as photographing product displays. They earn money for each task, while adding to a real-time data set used by product producers.
Within a few years, Shah took Mobee from an idea to a venture-backed company with almost 30 employees. Building a company means “lots and lots of failure, lots and lots of rejection,” he says. “But you grow a thick skin and you realize that if you’re passionate about something, you’ll keep going.”
Once Mobee grew past the startup phase, Shah decided to move on to a place where he could create and innovate. He landed at the food delivery service Door Dash and was involved in decisions such as adding delivery for fast food and alcohol, which has helped the company grow into the largest food delivery business in North America. Now he is about to embark on his next adventure: helping other entrepreneurs figure out how to turn their ideas into successful companies.
Shah, who lives in Silicon Valley, is particularly excited about delving into disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation.
“When things are unstable, that’s when I’m my happiest and that’s when I’m my best.” he says. “I love conflict, I love the drama. All of that gets my juices going, gets my competitive spirits flowing. I want to go out and do and build.”