Smita Shah, born in Chicago but of Indian descent has demonstrated that perseverance and drive can give a woman everything she wants. Smita Shah used her intelligence at an early age. She recalls that while other kids were working on word problems, she was turning them into algebraic equations. Her intense drive led her to pursue a degree in electrical engineering and later an MBA in civil engineering.
In the mid-1990s Smita Shah founded her own engineering firm in the greater Chicago area. She has since won many awards for her innovative projects including an award by Inc magazine as one of 1,000 top up and coming businesses.
Over the years she has taken on jobs for the greater Chicago area that promote innovation and growth, and while she is a very dedicated businesswoman, she also takes an interest in her community.
Smita Shah’s Other Interests
Aside from running her company, Smita Shah also promotes community growth and ethnic collaboration in many ways. One such project is the Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon. As the international representative for sister city, Delhi, India, Shah started the luncheon in 2014 as a way to commemorate the efforts made by the Indian American community in Chicago. This yearly luncheon motivates Indian business leaders and offers a memorial for Mahatma Gandhi and his work for human rights in India and his close connections with the United States.
Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon Receives a Special Proclamation
This year at the luncheon, mayor Lightfoot, a special guest, made a proclamation that October second would be the official Mahatma Gandhi day in Chicago. The pronouncement thrilled Smita Shah as it was a recognition for the Indian community of Chicago, and for the importance, Mahatma Gandhi had for human rights movements throughout the world. This type of commemoration means Chicago is finally recognizing its ethnic communities.
Smita Shah reflected her pleasure in working with Chicago and seeing that her efforts and those of the Indian community are noted. She says, “It has been an honor for the Indian American community to have this day officially noted. Smita also feels that it is a personal honor to have her work recognized in this way. The idea for the luncheon came about when she was named the international representative for Chicago’s sister city Delhi, India. She mentioned that Chicago is made up of many communities and each should be recognized for its efforts. Learn more: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/node/721011
Smita Shah hopes that this will strengthen the relationship between Delhi, India, and Chicago as well as the Indian community that lives within the city. Through these associations, the Delhi international committee hopes to see more cultural and business exchange relationships. Delhi, India has supported the luncheon through Smita Shah since 2014 and plans on continuing to do so to honor the similarities between Indian Americans and Indians.