Shawn Parikh – An Entrepreneur in Two Countries

Episode Transcription

00:00:00 – Glenn Harper

Hello everybody. Welcome to another podcast of Empowering Entrepreneurs, The Harper Company Way. I’m Glenn Harper.

00:00:05 – Julie Smith

And Julie Smith.

00:00:06 – Glenn Harper

Well, welcome. And we’ve got a special guest today. We’ve got Shawn Parikh, a fellow entrepreneur, of course, has multiple companies. One is Entigrity, an accounting staffing company headquartered in Texas that has multiple offices across India. And in his spare time has MyCPE, which is a global content education platform. Thanks, Shawn, for being part of the show today.

00:00:28 – Shawn Parikh

Hey, thank you. Thank you, Julie, for inviting me to this program. I’m really looking forward to this interaction.

00:00:34 – Glenn Harper

Well, I think the listeners their first question is, when you’re in India, what’s your favorite food to eat?

00:00:41 – Shawn Parikh

Well, I have I mean, I have been friends with a lot of U.S. People and they are really fond of Indian food. Food, and they like that spicy taste. So my favorite food in India, I mean, you can say Bhaji, which is basically a curry and and bread that we typically make. So that’s that’s my favorite food. We often make it in our home.

00:01:10 – Glenn Harper

That sounds fantastic. When you’re back in the US, what’s your what’s your favorite food that you’re jonesing for? You’re like a Taco Bell guy, a KFC, White Castle barbecue. What do you go for?

00:01:19 – Shawn Parikh

Well, I’m a vegetarian, so. Oh, wow. I’m a vegetarian. So. Taco Bell and Subway’s and Chipotle is these are the places I typically have to go where I find meat free meal. So I. I’m very fond of chipotle bowl. Oh yeah. That when I used to travel in the initial days of my career in U.S., probably early 2012, 2013, that used to be my staple meal. I used to take a stop at Chipotle and make some calls and it’s the best one and then get going, you know, so and so yeah.

00:02:06 – Julie Smith

We should preface with Glenn is talking all about food because he’s done a time difference and he realizes that it’s dinner time for Shawn right now. So he’s very curious about his dinner.

00:02:17 – Glenn Harper

All right. Now, the other question we have to know is, are you a cricket like traditional soccer or an American football fan?

00:02:26 – Shawn Parikh

Well, in India, you should not be asking this question.

00:02:29 – Glenn Harper

I know it’s all cricket. That’s why I said.

00:02:33 – Shawn Parikh

Cricket is the religion in India. So, you know, with 1.5 billion people, I’m sure there would be no child or no kid in India who would not be an expert in analyzing cricket. So everybody, you know, has an opinion on cricket, whether they play or they do not play, you know, physically. But yeah, cricket is perhaps the most followed sport in India and I am a cricket buff as well. I still play cricket a lot. Oh really? I mean, yeah, every week, at least twice I play cricket. I’m not a gamer. I’m a little lazy that way. So I play sport. So I play tennis and cricket almost weekly, like twice and thrice.

00:03:20 – Glenn Harper

How about that? I caught some kabaddi tournaments on ESPN the show last night. I didn’t know if you if that’s a sport that you play at all. I know that’s picking up steam. I just didn’t know if that’s something you’re into.

00:03:31 – Shawn Parikh

When you have done your research. Yes, that’s picking up steam in India.

00:03:35 – Glenn Harper

That’s the new one.

00:03:37 – Shawn Parikh

Yes. I’ve been following Cup of Tea Sport and of late it has got kind of commercial attraction as well. So PE sponsors are coming in, franchisees are coming in to sponsor players and then it is picking up. So any new ecosystem building around sport is good for the nation as a whole. So yeah, I mean, I follow Kabaddi as well, but I’m not a company player or I don’t play that.

00:04:06 – Glenn Harper

Gotcha. Well, you know, it’s always fun to have people rally towards something versus being worried about everything else. So that’s always exciting. I noticed on, you know, I guess you’re a chartered accountant and as a fellow accountant, we can make fun of each other a little bit. And I suspect that means you probably have a green visor and a ten key somewhere in your office. Right close by, I would suspect. Is that true?

00:04:29 – Shawn Parikh

Sorry. What you said.

00:04:30 – Glenn Harper

A ten key adding machine and a green visor that the accountants usually. Where do you have any of those laying around.

00:04:37 – Shawn Parikh

You can say I’m an odd one out of that accounting community that reminds me of one of the incidents I have studied in a college called Indian Institute of Management course. I did my post-graduation there and my specialization was marketing management instead of financial management. If you are a chartered accountant, typically you end up doing that specialization. That goes without saying, it’s obvious that you’ll be specializing in financial management in your MBA. Well, when you when I started college, I went there. It was an inaugural speech you need to give there. So I went upstairs from the podium and then my words were like, you know, I am a chartered accountant. My friends are chartered accountants, my brother is chartered accountant, my wife is chartered accountant, my brother wife is chartered accountant and I’m fed up of chartered accountants. So this is the place I am where I have no accountants around me. So, you know, and people started laughing and there were a couple of accountants there who kind of felt offended a little bit. But yeah.

00:05:44 – Julie Smith

So, Shawn, I have to tell you a story that I don’t think I’ve shared with you in our conversations last year. Glenn was so excited that he remembered my birthday. We’ve only been working together for, you know, a little over seven years. And for my birthday, as you know, I’m not an accountant and I don’t even understand numbers. Right. He gave me a ten key and it’s been almost a year and it’s still in the box.

00:06:09 – Glenn Harper

Very disappointing. Very disappointing.

00:06:12 – Shawn Parikh

Uh. So, yeah.

00:06:16 – Glenn Harper

There’s nothing we can say about that. It’s exactly right. Well, Shawn, I just heard some news on your LinkedIn that you guys just hit your 1,000th employee. I didn’t tell you. That is kind of a big deal. That is awesome.

00:06:29 – Shawn Parikh

Fortunately, the number is bigger than that. Actually, that number is just for the Gujarat region. So it is just one state that we are talking about. We have offices beyond that state as well. So we have that was a post actually shared by one of our employees in that state. So yeah, but yeah, a pretty big feed for all of us. And congratulations to the team as well.

00:06:53 – Julie Smith

So about.

00:06:54 – Shawn Parikh

How.

00:06:54 – Julie Smith

About how many employees do you have then?

00:06:58 – Shawn Parikh

About 1500 plus in total.

00:07:00 – Julie Smith

Okay. Wow. Good for you.

00:07:02 – Glenn Harper

You want to share a little bit about what you do and what your business.

00:07:07 – Shawn Parikh

Sorry, we are interrupting just to kind of come and come on that question of ten key. Well, I never had a ten K in my in my on my table even when I was practicing. But, you know, what I’ve realized is accountants are big enablers of, you know, in journey of entrepreneurs. So and globally, you know, I am a big, big believer of small businesses and entrepreneurship, if you want, you know, real big, stable world, so to say. And accountants play a very big role there. And I’m happy that in some small way I’m helping that community, although I’m not an accountant myself. But I consider myself fortunate that I have been an accountant where I have enabled those entrepreneurs who have been either starting the business or wanted to grow the business. So that role is key where you use you act as a as a booster. Yeah.

00:08:04 – Glenn Harper

I agree. I think the accounting industry is getting more and more people that are not accountants that are augmenting and helping the accounting industry, which is fantastic because accountants, you know, we think just one way and it’s really hard to get out of your own way. So it’s nice to have other perspectives come in and give us all of these little aha moments.

00:08:23 – Shawn Parikh

Yep. Yep, absolutely.

00:08:24 – Glenn Harper

Do you want to share a little bit about what your businesses do just as a little introduction? You just take a couple of seconds to talk about that and then we’ll get into the meat of the matter.

00:08:32 – Shawn Parikh

Yep, sure. So the first business we talked about was the degree of short staffing we help with. The challenges of staffing were so high and it has just aggravated post pandemic. So we started way back probably seven, eight years back and we started to address this challenge for midsize and regional accounting firms, small midsize and regional accounting firms, and help them building their offshore team to mitigate this, number one challenge of staffing. So that’s the simple thing that we do, and we have been successfully doing that so far and helping firms. Our objective was to empower the firms with by providing them the right access to global staffing and then and trying to help them. The second business kind of came through while we were doing this, which was continuing education. What we are trying to do there is there are already a lot of continuing education platform. What we are trying to do is we are trying to truly become one place continuing education platform for all, kind of continuing education. You know, with all all avenues of learning. That’s what we are trying to do. Hopefully we will do it one day. So so that’s the second business we are at.

00:09:49 – Glenn Harper

Nice. Which one do you do? Which one runs better on its own right now versus which one do you have to spend more time on?

00:09:56 – Shawn Parikh

Well, both, you know, you have to be actively involved. And honestly.

00:10:02 – Glenn Harper

That’s a trick.

00:10:02 – Shawn Parikh

Question. I would like to have somebody who can run it on an autopilot mode, but I think I think I’m not able to find the right guy or still it is not ready. I don’t know. I’m still confused. We can say that a little bit, but yeah, both of them are very growing businesses. Both businesses, fortunately, are on the right side of the post-pandemic world. Offshoring just kind of skyrocketed because of staffing challenges and remote working become so normal that offshoring became a buzzword in accounting world. So so that’s that’s kind of where integrity remains on the right side of the business and and right side of the post-pandemic world. And all those in-person webinars, in-person seminars and chapter meetings and events kind of vanished overnight because of the COVID. And that’s where people migrated online more and more. And we kind of where on the where in that space before pandemic. So fortunately that was also something that that went in our our favor. However, one thing which I would like to highlight is CPA certified public accountancy is truly becoming a global designation. Yep. Let me tell you something. Post-pandemic. There are more than a couple of dozen institute teaching CPAs, CMS and CIOs that have started in India. So this is really building a big ecosystem for this designation. And and a lot I mean, just to give you a number, probably two years before, there would be 1000 to 1500 people every year in India becoming certified public accountant and enrolled agents. That number is going to grow ten times in 2022.

00:11:58 – Speaker1

Oh, my.

00:11:59 – Speaker3

Wow. Yeah. So that’s the kind of change we are seeing in India and that’s the kind of demand we are seeing in India for, you know, those global accounting firms, large accounting firms. So yeah, this is a big game changing transition. You can say transformation time for for for us.

00:12:19 – Speaker1

Do you as an entrepreneur, you know, you obviously didn’t start off as an entrepreneur, but we’ll kind of just skip ahead to being an entrepreneur in India and also being in the United States. Is there challenges one way or the other that makes it a little easier or harder in one country or the other? Or is it pretty much a universal thing?

00:12:42 – Speaker3

Well, one thing. One, let me tell you one good thing about it. I can take vacation in the name of work if I want to try it. So that’s a good thing about being in both countries. Yeah, yeah. That’s all jokes apart. I think it’s tough to leave sometimes family back and travel for months together. I used to stay in the US. I stayed there for about 5 to 6 years. But, you know, leaving family behind and traveling without them is the tough part personally. Otherwise, I don’t see any challenge. For me. It’s learning both ways. I have traveled to, let’s say between 2014 to 2019. I have traveled in 28 states in the US with about 150 plus voting cards and staying in probably 250 plus Airbnb apartments or homes. So that’s what my memory is with us.

00:13:50 – Speaker1

Right in the heartland. Do you go as far as your how did you decide what was your journey before you became an entrepreneur? Did you already know you wanted to be one when you were just a kid, or is it something you kind of just graduated into? How did how did that trigger you get a real job and then decide to be an entrepreneur? Or did you just use a real job as a stepping stone because you knew you wanted to be one? How did that happen?

00:14:16 – Speaker3

So I when I started my career, I used to work as a retailer in a couple of mid-sized companies. So that gave me an opportunity to fight on the side, start my entrepreneurial journey as well. So while I had a fixed income who I call them as my anchor clients who gave me like a fixed income every month and kind of consume me every week as well my time. But at the same time I had a certain time on my plate where I used to kind of invest it into an entrepreneur entrepreneurial venture as well to build my own public practice in India. So I have built and operated a public practice for about 3 to 4 years in India and eventually I felt that I want to get jump into corporate. So my journey is a little reverse. So it’s not coming from corporates and Big Four and getting into public accounting. It was first public accounting and then I thought that I would, I imagine myself building a corporate going forward. So let me get the big exposure of how large teams are managed. And fortunately, at that point of time, I get an opportunity with I get an opportunity to work with one of the CEOs closely wherein we built a company from for I mean, I would not say we built it.

00:15:30 – Speaker3

He built an I was kind of an enabler there from a for people you know to about 4000 people that gave me an exposure of all kind right from man team challenges strategy so so that kind of mentored me a lot. I was fortunate enough to be part of that four or five year journey and, and that kind of gave me kind of courage strategy to build integrity as well. So, so before integrity and after, after that, that, that went to where I was a CFO, by the way, that company I’m talking about, I actually started as an accountant and I eventually became a CFO of that company. And then I left. I started another venture into pharma space, which failed. I lost almost 50% of my wealth there before starting Entegrity. So while I started a degree, it was under tremendous social pressure because almost 50% of your saving is gone. And when you come out of a middle class family, that is a kind of a big shock that you are doing well. Why you want to take an entrepreneurial journey and take those risks.

00:16:42 – Speaker3

So being in entrepreneurship was never something from the very beginning. It just came through it. You can say your dream changes while you be on your journey. It was like to have a home and to have a car before and now it’s something else. And it was then to build wealth. And now it’s like today I’m doing this because I have a team around me which is aspiring to grow and now I am that medium. You know, just, just want to add one more thing. Sorry, I’m extending this answer, but today, you know, we were surveying this and how much this is impacting, how much our actions are impacting, you know, these people who are working in integrity or these accounting firms or let me give you a couple of data points. About 30% of our people, our team member, bought their first car with integrity. About more than 40% of the people bought their first home, first family home after joining in dignity. So this is the amount of socioeconomic social impact we are trying to make collectively as a team. So that is more satisfying after you have taken care of your own and family well-being. Yeah.

00:18:03 – Speaker2

That gave me goosebumps. Like what an impact you’ve made so quickly. But one of the words that you use that we believe in and we believe that entrepreneurs believe in that is that team concept. How quickly were you able to figure out that it wasn’t about you? It was about your team and what you were able to build and aspire around you.

00:18:28 – Speaker3

Probably, I would say about two years before I realized. I mean, it’s like you can say that you talked about that aha moment. Mm hmm. I went actually into I went into a house of one of our team members. It was a housewarming party. And I saw the happiness on the face of the parents of that child. And I realized that that in some small way we are trying we are contributing to the social the social upliftment of people around us. So that’s where I realize that, you know, this is not this journey is now not just economic prosperity. It’s about making a larger impact that we are making. And it is going to those people who are economically deprived. So that is more fulfilling that we are trying to. Trying to I mean, we are trying to be contributing in a small way to bring that balance. So that’s that’s that’s where probably it happened.

00:19:39 – Speaker2

Yeah. What what an incredible story. And then I have one more question to kind of follow up that you had mentioned before. So the person that kind of took you under their wing and you build it from four employees to 4000. Do you think that that person just had a huge impact in regards to mentorship as you kind of changed your journey into, you know, that entrepreneurial?

00:20:02 – Speaker3

Julie, you speak my mind. He has tremendous influence on me today also. I used to fight with him, but he never used to kind of take it negatively because he thought that my fight with him was in the interest of the business, even though I was wrong. Most of the time you can say always so. Yeah. So still, probably we may not be in that much connect with each other right now because of the business commitments and personal commitments, but that that CEO of that company had a tremendous amount of impact on my life as well. My professional learnings and the way I approach and the way I deal with people. I never had the vision. Let me tell you, I never had the vision of building this kind of company if I would not have been with that company. You know, my thinking was small. My exposure was small. I would have been into this. I mean, I would have not built this company unless I would have got that exposure that I had.

00:21:00 – Speaker1

Which is definitely one of the things we try to encourage. All the entrepreneurs out there listening to this is quest for knowledge. Quest for knowledge. You don’t know what you might want to do. You don’t know your potential until you go and break those chains and go out and see what’s out there. And and you’ll be surprised and amazed at what you can accomplish. Do you know this? This story that you have is absolutely going to ruin the stereotypes of entrepreneurs who are successful because you’re not supposed to be caring about your teammates. You’re not supposed to be caring about families, caring about social stuff. You’re supposed to be out there just making money and just, you know, raping and pillaging everything. You know, how how does that, you know, that mindset change? I don’t think most of us ever want to do that. I think we always have a greater good in our in our hearts of what we want to accomplish. I don’t think you ever did it probably for the money. You probably did it for the challenge because you did it for the money. You probably wouldn’t have started that started again the second time after you lost the second piece. Right. So is it just a unbridled just belief in yourself and your character and who you are? What what kept you going and saying, no way, nobody’s going to stop me. I’m going to keep going. How did you decide that? What was that in you that made that happen?

00:22:20 – Speaker3

So most of the entrepreneurial journey are never for I mean, not just for the money. It is it is it is something more than that. In my case, when I mentioned about a business failed. And and so let me give you a little bit of anecdote. I start I started a practice. Then I left the practice and went into corporate. So it was a good practice. But I decided, you know, I’m not liking it. We are making good money. So understand, you come from a very middle class family. You started getting economically, you started getting stronger, you started building up savings. And suddenly you tell that, you know, I’m not liking it. Let me just leave. Let me jump onto something else. So my mother used to scold me. Like what? What? What are you up to? Why are you doing this? That’s your career. It has been a difficult time that we we have come out of. And now you want to play with your career. Now, I went into corporate stage to spend about four or five years there and then started from a normal accountant, the CFO. Great journey. Well, you started drawing handsome, handsome salary, position, salary. All. All perks, everything. And all of a sudden, in your mind, you started decide to get into some kind of a venture. So, again, you know, and and, you know, failures are not very, very. Failure is a little taboo here where we stay. So it’s a social pressure that creates. If you fail, people will start saying something.

00:23:51 – Speaker3

Well, I have no problem with it. But when you live in a joint family, what happens to your mother and then people around you matter. So. So I left the job. And then it was a good job, well-paying job. You leave that, and then you go and venture into something and it fails and it does not fail. It takes away the job from you. It takes over 50% of your savings that you have built. And it gives you all kind of disappointment and frustration and lack of confidence that when are you really good enough? You know, you start doubting yourself. So that was a stage when that venture failed. Thankfully, my wife and my brother kind of still kept that confidence in me that, you know, this is just one, one and one half year. Don’t worry about it. You know, you have, you know, seven, seven, eight years. There have been great success. Well, you know, this is just one piece of the failure. Now where Entegrity happened. Previous motivations to grow. Where all organic. Where you you know you are growing from you continuously growing from your base every year, every month. Now, this is a dip that that has come to you. So now it’s different. So now the thing is the journey starts is you have to come back to place where you were. So. So that was a little difficult journey. And the motivation was now that if I don’t build this up, I would be permanently tagged as a failure. In my community.

00:25:25 – Speaker1

That is amazing. I mean, we we never use the term failure as an entrepreneur. We always use a setback and a retool and come back stronger in a different way and pivot. But I guess the social pressure, you know, back in India, that is probably a big deal. Right. And that has that added pressure. We just I don’t know if we feel that here or not in the US. I mean, people still judge us, but when it’s the whole family coming at you, that has to be pretty hard. So is the I guess the motivation is that, hey, this was just has to be a setback. You can’t look at it as a failure. You have to come back stronger, right? I mean, you had to do that. Was there a choice? Did you ever think that you’re going to stop or do you feel like I got to keep going?

00:26:10 – Speaker3

Well, Glenn, honestly speaking, we are talking this in retrospect, in hindsight. It’s it’s okay. It was very agonizing for me and my wife, everyone, you know, losing 50% of your and then then, you know, starting all over again. So good that we have made a comeback and we have done it. Well, when you look in hindsight, I think a lot of things have happened to me because of destiny. I mean, I went to another country, started all over again. All of this is took some good decisions, got some great people by my side. Everything is okay. I met some great people in the U.S. who kind of supported me all of this, you know. But if I see that, you know, building this company, there were probably in hindsight, I always reflect and introspect. And I see there are 250 things that have happened to me which were beyond my control and there was no contribution in my in that. So, you know, this has it was meant to be this way. So if people often ask that, you know, you know, would you like to live the life the same way that has come to you? Well, I always think that it has to I made a lot of mistakes, but if I wouldn’t have made that, this wouldn’t have come through. So in hindsight, I would think that I would have avoided those mistakes and probably tried to be more prudent and more sane and more conservative on things. But it has to be that way. Coming back to social pressure thing. But I was not the guy who took that pressure that much. But my family around, you know, you live in a joint family in India. So the culture is a little different there here and.

00:27:53 – Speaker3

As I said, I would have been easily tagged as a failure. And, you know, one more thing I would like to highlight here, and you will see this article coming very soon in Indian media that we built. I was a chartered accountant. But today we have built a company out of out of. You can see it, dropouts and failed professionals. 80% of the people that we have hired are not chartered accountants. Because in India. You know, if 100 people join chartered accountancy, only five or ten people can actually become chartered accountant. What? So in America, the result is about 40 to 50%. That is in India, it’s very competitive. So although the internship, they have to undergo three years of internship with the accounting firm and they have to prep for it. Those are really quality talent, but they have missed by five or ten marks and could not become chartered accountant. So I had a special place in empathy for that because a lot of my friends could not clear and I have seen them very working very hard. And I sometimes thought that they were more deserving than me. And I was fortunate enough that I could clear that exam and they could not. In an order of five years, the compensation gap in that career becomes very high if you are making like $100. Being a chartered accountant in five years, that guy who is C internal C, a dropout with same amount of knowledge, same amount of internship experience, same amount of prep that he has done for c final examination would be drawing like $20. Oh my God. This is the kind of compensation gap happens. Yeah.

00:29:44 – Speaker1

Well, we always like to say that, you know, you fail forward and it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it. And, you know, entrepreneurs are just, you know, we try to inspire as many people that listen to this podcast as possible that, you know, if it was easy, everybody would do it. And yeah, because it’s hard, you really get to get down and just decide what kind of character do you have? How hard are you willing to work to do it? And sometimes you got to you get lucky and you get a mentor. Sometimes something happens that makes you look at things in different perspective, and sometimes the hard work and the planets align and things work out. And it seems like that’s probably what’s happened with you, which is an amazing. But you didn’t do it by just sitting on your laurels. You went out there and made it happen. Do you think what is your like? I know that’s a trick question, so I’m just going to tell you so you don’t get to feel like you’re being tricked, but, you know, what’s the end game for you is you want to grow your company to 5000 employees, 20,000 employees. You want to turn around and sell this thing. You want to buy, do some more businesses. Once you make $100 Billion, what is what is the end game? Which I know the answer, but go ahead and try to tell me.

00:30:56 – Speaker3

Oh, I actually, you know, I mean, I’ve tried to ask that question to myself and actually never gotten that kind of clear answer that I wanted. But I have kind of realized what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to kind of just pursue any opportunity for the sake of, you know, let’s say I want to continue making social impact while doing what we are doing. So definitely we want to do that. So I just don’t want to do something for the sake of business opportunity and only with my CP, what we are doing is for every credit you take, we are donating one meal, one under-served person. So that’s the social objective. And so far we have distributed more than a million meals in our short journey of two years, and that has been a wonderful program that we have. And in India, you have that problem, which is genuine. Plus, we are working with a food bank of New York food bank of South Jersey, and then we are taking help from there as well. And continuously, month on month, we are donating funds there. So my objective or my way of looking at I, if I if I grow my ICP, my object total objective will continue to grow with it.

00:32:15 – Speaker3

With with Entegrity what we are doing. And you know, just it would be great for you as well to listen with integrity. What we have we are starting we were planning to start this two years before school closed and pandemic. All schools were closed, kind of went online. So. With every employee or every staff that a firm hire. We will be taking care of entire education of an underserved person. One person. So as we grow a number of staff, let’s say we have 5000 people, we would be supporting 5000 children’s. So this would be part of our objective and it grows as the business grows. So if you if you if I can highlight this is what I would like to do with whatever I do from here. Not really know what I’m doing. I think whatever I’m doing, if I’m able to justify that itself, it’s great. But this is a little bit of thought process in executing what we are doing.

00:33:18 – Speaker1

I think the the stereotype, again, of entrepreneurs and people that run businesses is just so not fair in the media because I have yet to find entrepreneurs that don’t truly care about their teammates, their employees, employees, families. It really is about trusting and empowering and having everybody rise up with you. Right. I mean, what fun is it doing it by yourself? And it’s great to hear that you believe in the same concept. And again, a lot of trainers may be their own sole proprietor, maybe a couple employees. You’ve got, you know, quite a few employees. And you guys basically have grabbed them all in and said, hey, these are my extended family and you’re taking care of them. But but they’re getting rewarded. They’re getting smarter. They’re making an impact. They’re helping their clients out. They’re helping the company out. I mean, what a great success story to have that happen, because I would imagine anybody that’s a part of your team, I’d imagine they’re not going to want to leave your team very time soon. I think I think you probably treat them pretty well.

00:34:20 – Speaker3

Well, I’d like to believe that. But if staffing is a challenge even in India now and but yes, team is going to be the cornerstone or the backbone of any businesses that you’re building. And I have realized it hard hard base know sometimes in your journey growth comes with little bit of you can say loneliness fast growth in fact. And if you ask me what are the biggest regrets that probably I would have is during this journey of this entrepreneurial journey, probably lost a few colleagues on its way. And and I would say that if they would have been by my side, I would be you know, they would be happy as well and then I would be happier as well. So those were hard working colleagues of mine. And then yeah, it’s it’s unfortunate that, yeah, they are not together in the success, but yeah, their contribution to this business have been invaluable.

00:35:27 – Speaker1

Yes. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit and you can’t force it. One thing we always like to ask our entrepreneurs on the guests on the show is, you know, is there any you mentioned regrets about bringing some colleagues along, but is there anything that you would think back and go, wow, if I knew what I know today back then, or if somebody would told me the shortcut I’d have got here a lot quicker is and again, there’s nothing to replace a school of hard knocks, of course. But is there something that you could point to sometime in the past that said, Man, if I just knew that that would have been the key, what would that have been?

00:36:05 – Speaker3

Well, one thing that happened operationally on the back and side of what we are doing is. Well, one thing let me tell you which probably would be more relatable to this conversation. So I thought initially when we started working with and started integrating, I have to visit every accounting firm and close them. So I cannot because I my accent is heavy and I cannot lose accounting firm without meeting them in person and giving them the trust. So I used to travel a lot, go to all conferences, etc., etc.. But but in the year 2015 or 6 to 10, 16 or 17, a guy named Michael Dell, who is also a CPA, is also in New York. And then and happened to be he came to my booth. And he’s an entrepreneur, too, apart from being an accountant and and a great brain. And I’ll tell him he was my guide in America. I learned a lot from him. So he told me that I’ll be closing clients for you without visiting them. And just for you, you have to pay me as much commission. I said, Why not? If I am not required to pay anything to you without clients, well, go for it. And that break the mindset that I was open to that. But it was a big mindset shift. So if I would have known that three or four years back, probably we would have been probably two of what we are in that crazy.

00:37:43 – Speaker1

We we call that getting out of your own way, right? Recognizing the strengths and and we’ll call them weaknesses that all of us have. But it’s really hard. It’s not true. We’re bullheaded, we’re stubborn. We believe we know it all and we want to do it. And the second we step back and augment that with some other people on our team, magic can just happen.

00:38:04 – Speaker3

Yeah, I was so wrong.

00:38:07 – Speaker1

But you know what? If you got it earlier, maybe it wouldn’t have meant as much because you didn’t have to work so hard. You never know, right? You don’t know who you’re going to be. But boy, it would be neat to go back and and fix that. Well, I you know, I think the the end game question is an open ended question, because I don’t think there is one. I think if you love what you do, it’s really not work. You’re probably going to just keep going. Why would you stop? Again, the money at this point really doesn’t matter because you have your lifestyle you want. You’re helping people you enjoy, getting up every day, going to work. That literally to me is the entrepreneurial dream to have that it’s not about you anymore. It’s about everybody you impact. And I think you’ve probably achieved it. So congratulations. But I feel like you’ve got so much more to do.

00:38:52 – Speaker3

Yeah, well, I mean, we have we are continuing to do what we are doing right every day. So that’s what the motivation is to get up every day and then do what you’re doing like a job, but with a lot of the light fun and then results. So yeah.

00:39:11 – Speaker1

There’s nothing better. Well, it’s, we’re going to enjoy sitting back and, and helping you participate and watching you participate and watching you build this empire. And I can’t wait to imagine how high it’s going to go. So we’re excited for you and appreciate you coming on our show today. And I hope an entrepreneur is are listening to this realize that it ain’t easy. And but if you stay with it and you and you keep working, you acquire that knowledge, it’ll happen for you. So just believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and who knows what you can accomplish.

00:39:44 – Speaker3

And I’m really thankful to you, Glenn and Julie, first for inviting me for this wonderful, wonderful interaction. And second, you are helping small businesses. You are celebrating entrepreneurship, which is most important. It’s it’s very is very, very important. You guys are doing that. And I would like to applaud you for that. So please continue your search efforts. And and that that really is bringing good, positive results as a whole.

00:40:11 – Speaker1

Well, thank you, Shawn, for those kind words. We appreciate you. Again, there’s nothing better than watching somebody have that dream in their eye and it makes it happen. It’s it’s the best it’s the best feeling ever. Well, get back. Hopefully you have your midnight snack here back home at your time zone and we’re getting ready to start the day. So again, Sean, thanks for coming in and we’ll have this podcast out there for everybody to listen to directly. This is Glenn Harper signing off.

00:40:36 – Speaker2

And Julie Smith.

Episode Show Notes

Shawn Parikh is the Founder-Chairman of Entigrity Offshore Staffing. A Chartered Accountant by qualification, he has over 15 years of experience of being a problem solver for small to mid-size firms, and over time he has given consultation to thousands of CPAs, accountants, and tax pros.

What does he feel is his role is in the entrepreneurs’ journey?

What I’ve realized is accountants are big enablers in the journey of entrepreneurs. I am a big, big believer in small businesses and entrepreneurship. And accountants play a very big role there. And I’m happy that in some small way I’m helping that community, although I’m not an accountant myself. But I consider myself fortunate that I have been an accountant where I have enabled those entrepreneurs who have been either starting the business or wanted to grow the business.

What are the challenges in being an entrepreneur with businesses in two countries?

I think it’s tough to leave sometimes family back and travel for months together. I used to stay in the US. I stayed there for about 5 to 6 years. But, you know, leaving family behind and traveling without them is the tough part personally.

When did it become evident you had the entrepreneurial spirit?

So my journey is a little reverse. So it’s not coming from corporates and Big Four and getting into public accounting. It was first public accounting and then I thought that I would, I imagine myself building a corporate going forward. So that let me get the big exposure of how large teams are managed. So being in entrepreneurship was never something from the very beginning.

How quickly were you able to figure out that it wasn’t about you? It was about your team and what you were able to build and aspire around you.

About two years. I went to a housewarming party for one of our team members. And I saw the happiness on the face of the parents of that child. And I realized that in some small way we are trying to contribute to the social upliftment of people around us. So that’s where I realized that this is not this journey, is now not just economic prosperity. It’s about making a larger impact we are making.

What impact did your mentor have on you?

He had a tremendous amount of impact on my life. My professional learnings and the way I approach and the way I deal with people. Let me tell you, I never had the vision of building this kind of company. You know, my thinking was small. My exposure was small. I would have not built this company unless I would have gotten that exposure that I had.

After losing 50% of his savings after one of his early businesses didn’t work out, you couldn’t look at it as a “failure.” You had to come back stronger, right? Was there a choice?

I think a lot of things have happened to me because of destiny. I mean, I went to another country, started all over again. All of this is took some good decisions, got some great people by my side. I met some great people in the U.S. who supported me through all of this. So people often ask would you like to live life the same way that has come to you? Well, I always think that it has to I made a lot of mistakes, but if I wouldn’t have made that, this wouldn’t have come through. But I was not the guy who took that pressure that much. I live in a joint family in India. So the culture is a little different there and I would have been easily tagged as a failure.

As we like to ask all of our guests, “If I just knew that, that would have been key, what would that have been?”

So I thought initially when we started working with and started Entegrity, I needed to have to visit every accounting firm and close them. So I used to travel a lot, go to all conferences for year. But then I met Michael Dell, another CPA. He proposed that I let him sell for me for x% commission. I said why not? It was a big mindset shift. So if I would have known that three or four years back, probably we would have been probably 2x what we are right now.

Just another example of getting out of your own way.

Shawn’s Website

MyCPE

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Entrepreneurial Success Formula: How to Avoid Managing Your Business From Your Bank Account