Differentiate yourself! Be sure that you have something that differentiates your business from the competition. It must be something that makes you memorable.
As the CEO and co-founder of With Clarity, Anubh Shah is responsible for managing day-to-day business operations and operational oversight. A third-generation diamond cutter, Shah is passionate about creating exceptional rings with the finest diamonds and making them more easily accessible to today’s modern consumer. Shah founded With Clarity shortly after proposing to his now wife and company co-founder, Slisha Kankariya, as the two sought a solution to modernize the age-old experience for shopping for a diamond engagement ring.
Prior to With Clarity, Shah began his career in finance where he developed a strong background in sales and trading before learning how to hand cut, polish, grade and inspect diamonds in India. He earned a degree in Gemology from the Gemological Institute of America, the nation’s top grading laboratory. Shah was born and raised in New York and graduated from Babson College in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. His favorite diamond shape is round. He and Kankariya live in NYC with their 6-mo. old daughter, Miraya, and in their spare time they enjoy hiking, trying new restaurants and traveling.
Where did the idea for With Clarity come from?
Becoming an entrepreneur was all about positively disrupting the industry I grew up in. I’m a third generation jeweler in the diamond industry. My company With Clarity bridges the gap between online and offline shopping, replacing the uncertainties of traditional shopping with a hands on experience at home. Consumers try replicas of their favorite ring styles before they buy. I decided to start this company to change the way consumers think about and shop for jewelry online and eliminate the need to ever walk into a jewelry store again. Being an entrepreneur is not just about having an idea, it’s about effectively using industry knowledge and customer insights to solve a problem for a customer. In this way, you’re transforming and causing positive changes within an industry and carving out a place for yourself.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Starting a business is all about taking calculated risks and making better decisions. It’s important to treat your business like you would a science experiment. Have performance metrics that you track, have a budget and a timeline for any marketing changes that you make. This is a smarter way to grow and also alleviates stress and confusion.
Finally find a a unique point of view and ensure that you have set yourself apart from your competitors. This creates a defensible moat around your business and gives customers a reason to by from you. In the long run this is a more definitive way to grow and prosper.
Each day for me is about growth hacking and looking for new ways to expand on ideas that are already working and finding new ideas to experiment with that can propel growth.
How do you bring ideas to life?
1. Differentiate yourself! Be sure that you have something that differentiates your business from the competition. It must be something that makes you memorable. This way even when competitors have larger marketing budgets, the marketing that you do, will make an impact.
2. Invest in a talented team that is innovating constantly. You need to ensure that the team that you surround yourself with is talented and capable and constantly coming up with new ideas. It helps to have new ideas to overcome challenges that you will encounter along the way.
3. Always be prepared to experiment to find new ways to sell your products and services, however be sure that you can measure the results of these experiments.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The growing role of data and personalization when it comes to shopping and meeting customer needs is very exciting. With this we can offer even more personalized recommendations and help our customers get what they need. This also creates efficiencies in our customer service.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think the ability to utilize spare moments to complete quick tasks helps me stay on top of things. Whether it’s my commute or any other free time, apps, access and connectivity at all times helps me knock out easier tasks so I can focus on the big picture at the office.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. And don’t overplan before making a leap. You only learn by doing.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There needs to be a work life balance. In the digital age, there is no work life balance as lines get very quickly blurred. The goal is not to check in or check out at a certain time to home or work, it is to create a priority list, enable access to both and achieve what you need to on a daily basis without the pressure of hours or location.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Always learn from others. Whether it’s vendors, other entrepreneurs or investors, take the time to learn about their insights for business and growth and think about how you can implement for you own life and your work.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We have always tried to optimize with the customer in mind. Site designs, growth plans, even hiring people were all based on fulfilling customer needs. Finding employees that are as passionate about customer needs as we are have helped to fuel our growth.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had was when working with vendors that you are not happy with don’t elongate the relationship more than you have to. Cut ties that don’t work and learn to use yourself as a fall back to accomplish important tasks.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Working on integrating the ability to request a custom design for business collateral and have multiple vendors bid while sharing automated modules allowing you to teak their work with on demand price quotes.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 that I recently spent was on educational toys for my 9 month old. Seeing her learn and grow is the most rewarding gift of all.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use Klaviyo to deploy email campaigns and have found it to be highly effective in terms of segmenting customers and delivering personalized recommendations.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Lean Startup.
Effective and concise knowledge about startup life and balancing it all.
What is your favorite quote?
“Observe the fluctuations of the mind, do not become them.”
This enables you to keep your cool in all situations and let life’s stresses come and go without affecting your inner peace.
- Take risks when you can but always measure the results to learn how to move on to the next thing in an intelligent manner.
- Trust your instincts when it comes to the people you want to work with and the people who you hire. It always never leads to a bad decision.
- Always, enable employees with the tools to shine, don’t try to push them into a mold you have created for them.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.