By his early 20s, Tej Shah had already experienced a high-profile entrepreneurial adventure many spend a lifetime pursuing.
Nominated for BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Under 25, Shah was featured in esteemed media outlets that ranged from The Wall Street Journal to The New York Times. The accolades were the result of a groundbreaking web venture Shah co-founded – WeRemember. The online database stored important information about the location of individuals’ insurance policies, bank accounts, investments and safe deposits, providing peace of mind that people’s beneficiaries would be able to collect. The site garnered widespread interest, and eventually Shah and his partner sold the technology to a large insurance company.
The lightning bolt of deserved success early in his career was incredible, but Shah was only in his mid 20s. He had to figure out where his future lay. He soon found his path in the promotional products industry with Top 40 distributor Overture Premiums & Promotions (asi/288473).
After WeRemember, Shah decided to stick with online business and perform e-commerce consulting, rather than attend medical school as he had intended as an undergrad. In looking for clients, Shah spotted a posting in which Overture was seeking an expert to help bring its fledging e-commerce business to the next level. He landed the gig. What started as a consulting role, however, soon turned into a fulfilling executive career as Overture’s VP of e-commerce and marketing. “Overture had a great long-term vision for what they wanted to achieve with e-commerce, and I felt confident I could help realize that vision,” says Shah.
When he started seven years ago, Overture operated a handful of e-commerce sites for clients. Under Shah, the e-commerce trade has expanded exponentially. Overture now manages north of 100 e-commerce websites for customers where end-users, both employees and consumers, can purchase promo products from Overture’s clients. And, Overture runs bluesodapromo.com – its own e-commerce site that sells brandable merchandise directly to end-buyers. “Being part of Overture’s growth has been a ton of fun,” says Shah.
For Shah, investing in the right technology and leveraging it properly is integral to e-commerce success. Of course, that back-end mastery must be complemented by an attractive buyer-facing site that makes clients look great. “We want to elevate our clients’ brands with the websites we manage for them,” says Shah. “There has to be unique product that is in line with their brands, and there has to be a simple and easy online shopping experience.”
Given his impressive achievements by age 31, it’s hard to imagine any doors in the business world being closed to Shah. And yet, this millennial tech whiz has no plans to leave Overture anytime soon, for the fun-loving, energetic company culture is a daily benefit he’s loath to give up. “It may sound like clichéd corporate rhetoric, but in our case it’s not: We really do have a great culture. We have a good time doing our jobs and then having happy hour afterwards. That makes working here very rewarding.”