Surendra Ullal & Ramesh Soparawala
CHICAGO: For over three decades- to be precise for 35 years now- Anil Shah, a well-known community member, as well as, an acclaimed activist has been serving the community in more ways than one.
Besides rendering yeoman services to the community at large and the Indian community in particular, Anil Shah has distinguished himself as a very successful businessman, commencing his business empire World Money Exchangethirty-five years ago in Chicago, reflecting his huge foresight and business acumen in the context of jumping into highly uncharted business territory for Indians.
Freshly graduating from Indian University as Chartered Accountant, Anil Shah came to this country in the mid-seventies and started his career by joining an accounting firm in Downtown Chicago. But he could not suppress the business bug engrained in him and decided to start his own accounting firm Shah Associates Inc., but that was just a start, as he was toying with a different idea that would involve proving a safe and reliable outlet for Indians sending money to their dear ones in India and other parts of the world. He broadened his services to include the exchange of currency, and for sure he has not looked back.
The waiting period for customers is greatly reduced and the margin that is charged for services is very moderate. It helps not only Indians send money but the company has a large base of non-Indian customers too. Significantly, even banks and financial institutions also come to WME using its facilities of quick and reliable money transfer and exchange.“I have over the years earned the confidence of my customers and clients by transparent dealings and honesty. Besides, the margin for all deals is kept to a minimum, as we have to compete with giants in the highly competitive financial world. This is our basic principle and it has ensured our success and progress. To say with modesty, ours is the only Indian firm that has survived for long and we will do so in the future as we do not compromise on our basics,” Anil Shah said with obvious pride and humility.
This is reflected in his annual business turn over which he expects to cross $100 million mark before long Anil Shah is only a successful business magnet but has rightly been recognized by many community-oriented organizations bestowing him with awards and recognitions. There is not a single community-oriented event or function where he is not invited or, where he has not rendered his help. Besides, he has been of immense help to many in the community. There would not be any community-hosted event where he is not a sponsor or, a significant supporter.
He was among a few who were invited by President Bill Clinton to the White House during his Presidency and he is among the few Indian-American who had first-hand audience with PM Narendra Modi. When Modi was heading Gujarat Government he had a special audience with WME chairman Anil Shah. To sum up, it would not be an exaggeration to state that Indian community needs more front raking businessmen like Anil Shah who believe in giving back to the community which has given him a lot of support, confidence and unwavering help